HAB Select Trial

HAB select trial (PICSI®): Improving IVF outcomes


Jessop Fertility is currently taking part in an exciting new trial. We are part of large multicentre UK trial which currently has 14 IVF clinics taking part.

We hope to find out whether or not a new way of selecting sperm for ICSI increases the chance of pregnancy and/or decreases the chance of a miscarriage.

Why is the trial taking place?
Previous studies that have looked into how sperm grow and mature show that immature or damaged sperm have higher rates of damage to their genetic material (DNA). These sperm then can’t develop vital proteins that help the sperm bind to a substance called Hyaluronan (HA). HA is found in many places in the body and it is particularly enriched on the surface of human eggs. Normal sperm bind to this substance and can then penetrate into the egg, which results in fertilisation taking place.

What are the aims of the trial?
The HAB (Hyaluronan binding) Select study at Jessop Fertility aims to look at the differences between sperm that can bind to HA and sperm that cannot. A specialised ‘PICSI’ dish, which has spots of HA on its surface, will be used. This dish lets us pick out the sperm that bind to HA (and are therefore normal) so that we can use them for your ICSI treatment.
There have been a few smaller studies performed already which show that using a PICSI dish may help to increase the chance of a successful pregnancy.

Can we take part in the trial?
If you are having ICSI treatment then you will probably be asked if you are happy to take part in this trial. There are a few restrictions. We will ask you both to read some patient information and sign a consent form. You will then be allocated randomly into one of two groups. For the first group a PICSI dish will be used for the ICSI procedure. The second group will follow our current method of performing ICSI (i.e. no PICSI dish). Either way, from your point of view, the process through treatment will be exactly the same for both sets of patients. The only difference will be the way that we select your sperm for your ICSI.

You will not be able to find out which group you have been placed into until the trial has ended (in approximately 3-4 years time).

Is it safe for us to take part?
The specialised PICSI dishes have been thoroughly safety tested and are MHRA approved. The studies that have been done so far do not show any signs that your treatment is likely be compromised by you taking part.

What do we do now?
We encourage you to enrol in the trial, if you are eligible. Please ask your nurse/embryologist/doctor about the trial next time you are in the clinic and they will be happy to answer any questions you have.

However, if you think this isn't for you then there is no pressure or obligation to take part.

How can we find out more?

Please visit the HABSelect website at:

http://www.habselect.org.uk/