Correlation between sperm penetration into the human zona pellucida and in vitro fertilization rates

L. Yogev, R. Gamzu, R. Hauser, A. Botchan, A. Amit, J. B. Lessing, G. Paz, H. Yavetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sperm penetration into the zona pellucida of unfertilized oocytes, and its correlation with in vitro fertilization rates of the sibling oocytes, were assessed. This was performed in order to evaluate the prediction rate of the sperm penetration test into the zona pellucida. Unfertilized oocytes (n = 1872) from 371 cycles were pipetted through a microcapillary, and the remaining sperm cells penetrating the zona pellucida were counted. The mean (± SD) number of spermatozoa that penetrated the zona pellucida of unfertilized oocytes was 12.9 ± 16.37. A significant correlation was found between the fertilization rate and the mean number of spermatozoa that penetrated into the zona pellucida of the unfertilized sibling oocytes (r = 0.48; P < 0.001), or the percent of unpenetrated zonae pellucidae in a cohort (r = -0.43; P < 0.001). However, a distinct variation in the number of spermatozoa that penetrated into the zona pellucida was detected. A step-wise regression analysis proved the number of spermatozoa penetrating the zona pellucida to be more predictive for fertilization rates than the variable of percent of unpenetrated zonae pellucidae. The results imply that although there is interdependence between penetration into the zona pellucida and fertilization rate, the predictive value of sperm penetration test for prognosis and future management after the first in vitro fertilization attempt, is limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-75
Number of pages5
JournalAndrologia
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

Keywords

  • human
  • in vitro fertilization
  • sperm penetration
  • zona pellucida

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