What is MACS?

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What is MACS?

Men with high degrees of DNA fragmentation can have poorer reproductive results than men without this condition. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of MACS, how it is performed before insemination, and explore the various topics and facts surrounding this innovative technique we offer at ReproMed Ireland.

MACS, short for Magnetic-Activated Cell Sorting, is a sperm selection technique used in assisted reproductive technology (ART). It involves using magnetic beads coated with antibodies to selectively bind and remove sperm cells with high levels of damaged DNA leaving behind the most optimal sperm for insemination. By removing sperm with high levels of fragmented DNA, MACS aims to reduce the risks of miscarriage associated with these spermatozoa.

How does it work?

The MACS procedure involves several key steps:

Semen Sample Preparation

We collect the semen sample as normal. The sample is obtained through ejaculation and collected in a sterile container provided by us.

Density Gradient Centrifugation

The semen sample undergoes density gradient centrifugation, a commonly used method to separate sperm cells from the seminal fluid and other debris. This step helps remove dead or immotile sperm, as well as potential contaminants.

Antibody-Coated Magnetic Beads

Special magnetic beads coated with antibodies that specifically target proteins on the surface of severely damaged sperm cells are introduced to the sample. These beads bind to the undesirable sperm, forming bead-sperm complexes.

Magnetic Separation

The sample is passed through a column placed in a magnetic field. The magnet attracts the bead-sperm complexes, while the healthy sperm cells flow through unaffected.

What are the Benefits of MACS

MACS offers several advantages over traditional sperm selection methods. Many studies have been done in the use of MACS for men with high degrees of DNA fragmentation. The advantage that this technique offers is the reduction on risks of miscarriage which is the hardest consequence for couples with high DNA damage.

At the moment, ReproMed Ireland is the only fertility clinic in Ireland offering MACS. If you would like to book a consultation, click here

ReproMed Ireland