Assisted Oocyte Activation following Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection: A Sensible Option for Infertile Couples with Severe Teratozoospermia

Document Type : Review Article


1 Department of Animal Biotechnology, Reproductive Biomedicine Research Center, Royan Institute for Biotechnology, ACECR, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH, USA

3 Isfahan Fertility and Infertility Center, Isfahan, Iran


The intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has significantly improved male factor infertility treatment; however, complete fertilization failure still occurs in 1-5% of ICSI treatment cycles mainly due to oocyte activation failure. It is estimated that around 40-70% of oocyte activation failure is associated with sperm factors after ICSI. Assisted oocyte activation (AOA) as an effective approach to avoid total fertilization failure (TFF) has been proposed following ICSI. In the literature, several procedures have been described to overcome failed oocyte activation. These include mechanical, electrical, or chemical stimuli initiating artificial Ca2+ rises in the cytoplasm of oocytes. AOA in couples with previous failed fertilization and those with globozoospermia has resulted in varying degrees of success. The aim of this review is to examine the available literature on AOA in teratozoospermic men undergoing ICSI-AOA and determine whether the ICSI-AOA should be considered as an adjunct fertility procedure for these patients.


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