The effect of cult-active medium on pregnancy outcomes after intracytoplasmic sperm injection in azoospermic men: A case-control study


Background: Failed oocyte activation following intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) as a result of calcium deficiency is a major challenge.

Objective: We compared the effect of cult-active medium (CAM) on ICSI outcomes in obstructive azoospermia cases.

Materials and Methods: The present study was conducted with 152 ICSI cases, classified into CAM and control groups. The injected oocytes in the control group were cultured in the cleavage medium, while in the artificial oocyte activation group, oocytes were chemically activated through exposure to 200 µL of CAM for 15 min. Fertilization and cleavage rates, quality of embryos, and biochemical pregnancy and live birth rates were assessed in both groups.

Results: There were significant differences between the groups in terms of fertilization and cleavage rates after using the CAM in the percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA) subgroup (p = 0.05, p ≤ 0.001) and in the testicular sperm extraction subgroup (p = 0.02, p = 0.04), compared to their control groups. Also, the pregnancy rate was significantly higher in the PESA-CAM subgroup (p = 0.03). The PESA-CAM subgroup demonstrated a significant difference in embryo quality after ICSI (p = 0.04). Unsuccessful embryo transfer and abortion were lower in both subgroups compared to the control groups, but this difference was not significant. Surprisingly, live birth rate was higher in the PESA-CAM subgroup (p = 0.03).

Conclusion: CAM treatment could improve fertilization and cleavage rates in obstructive azoospermia participants. It had a significant effect on embryo quality, and pregnancy and live birth rates in PESA cases.

Key words: Calcium ionophore, Obstructive azoospermia, Fertilization, ICSI.

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