In the intricate world of assisted reproductive technologies, every step matters. One crucial aspect is sperm preparation, a meticulous process that plays a pivotal role in fertility treatments. In this video, Marelee De Wit, an experienced embryologist at Vitalab JHB, takes us behind the scenes, providing insights into the detailed procedure of sperm preparation at their state-of-the-art laboratory.

 

On a pick-up or egg retrieval day, the journey begins when the laboratory receives the sperm sample in a cup. Marelee De Wit starts by examining the sperm sample under a microscope. This initial step allows embryologists to assess the quality and characteristics of the sperm, setting the stage for the subsequent intricate procedures. 

 

Density Layers and Centrifugation: The core of the sperm preparation process lies in density layers and centrifugation. De Wit explains that after the initial examination, they employ density gradient centrifugation. This method is designed to separate the seminal plasma and unwanted particles from the sperm sample, isolating the progressively motile sperm—the essential components for successful fertility treatments.

 

Layering the Density Gradient: To achieve this separation, De Wit carefully layers the sperm sample through density gradients. Each layer is specifically calibrated to isolate different particles from the sperm pellet. The objective is to obtain a clean, pure pellet of progressively motile sperm, ensuring optimal conditions for fertilization. 

Quality Control and Double Witnessing: Before transferring the semen into the tube, quality control measures are implemented. The volume and viscosity of the sperm sample are measured, ensuring that all parameters are within acceptable ranges. Crucially, the process is double witnessed by another embryologist, adding an extra layer of precision and reliability to the entire procedure. Centrifugation and Final Assessment: Once satisfied with the sample parameters, the sperm is added to the density gradients and placed into the centrifuge. This crucial step spins the sample, facilitating the separation of desired sperm from unwanted elements. De Wit showcases the layers post-centrifugation, emphasizing the clarity achieved through this meticulous process.

 

The Final Product: The final spin reveals a clean, well-separated pellet at the bottom of the tube, signifying the successful isolation of progressively motile sperm. This pellet is then carefully loaded, signifying the culmination of the sperm preparation process.

 

Conclusion: In the realm of fertility treatments, the journey from sperm retrieval to preparation is laden with precision and care. Marelee De Wit’s walkthrough of the sperm preparation process at Vitalab JHB sheds light on the dedication and expertise required in the quest to unlock the secrets of conception. As the final product gleams in the laboratory tube, it symbolizes the hope and possibilities that assisted reproductive technologies bring to countless individuals and couples on their fertility journey.

Marelee De Wit, an experienced embryologist at Vitalab JHB, takes us behind the scenes, providing insights into the detailed procedure of sperm preparation at their state-of-the-art laboratory.