A Zymot test is a better way to process sperm by separating the the healthy and unhealthy sperm. But how does it work and what does it mean?
Let's start from the beginning....Have you had a failed cycle of IVF?
Unfortunately, the reasons why an IVF cycle has failed are not always clear. However, one possible cause could be DNA damage (fragmentation) in your sperm. High levels of DNA fragmentation in sperm have been linked to an increased risk of early miscarriage and reduced IVF success rates.
No matter how healthy you are, there will always be some sperm in your ejaculate that are poorer quality than the rest as they might have higher levels of DNA fragmentation than your other sperm, be less motile or have an abnormal head shape.
Having a range of sperm quality in your ejaculate is completely natural. If you have a good number of motile, normally shaped sperm with low levels of DNA fragmentation, having some poorer quality sperm should not affect your chances of becoming a parent.
For fertility treatments like IVF or ICSI, it’s important that where possible only the very best sperm are used to fertilise an egg. To separate the good quality sperm from the not-so-good sperm, Embryologists will process a semen sample before it’s used for fertility treatment.
There are concerns that traditional sperm processing techniques could damage the sperm’s DNA and consequently reduce the chances of a successful IVF cycle.
The Zymot device is a sperm sorting chip that collects the good quality sperm without causing DNA damage. In fact, research suggests that using the Zymot device could actually reduce DNA fragmentation in sperm! (1).
How does the Zymot sperm separation device work?
An Embryologist injects semen into the inlet port in the Zymot device. The healthy, motile sperm will swim up and through an internal membrane filter, where it can then be collected and used for treatment. The poorer quality sperm get left behind as they are unable to cross the membrane barrier.
Unlike traditional methods, processing a semen sample through the Zymot device does not require centrifugation (spinning fast in a machine). It’s this step in the traditional techniques that is thought to cause DNA damage in sperm.
Who should use the Zymot device?
The Zymot device is a great option for many people who require fertility treatment to have a baby. This technique could prove particularly beneficial for men who have previously had high levels of DNA fragmentation in their sperm or couples who have had unsuccessful fertility treatment cycles in the past.
To see whether the Zymot device could work for you, we offer a diagnostic Zymot test. During this test, we will run your sample through the Zymot device to assess how many good quality sperm are available after processing.
The diagnostic Zymot test will help your doctors plan your treatment cycle and give you peace of mind about how your sperm processing will go on the day of treatment.
Before opting for Zymot
Prior to starting fertility treatment using the Zymot device we would recommend that all men have the following tests:
- Semen analysis: An assessment of the number of good-quality, motile sperm in your ejaculate. This test looks at your sperm count, and how many of your sperm are moving and normally shaped.
- DNA fragmentation test: An evaluation of the genetic quality of your sperm. If high levels of DNA fragmentation are found in your sample, we may recommend treatments to improve this before starting fertility treatment to increase your chances of success. This test provides a more in-depth assessment of your sperm quality and fertility than semen analysis alone.
- Diagnostic Zymot test: A test that checks how your sample will process through the Zymot device on the day of fertility treatment.