What Is ICSI?
ICSI is a procedure performed during IVF treatment where a single sperm cell is directly injected into an egg. The ICSI procedure can help overcome various obstacles to fertilization and is frequently used for treatment of male factor infertility.
Reasons for ICSI
- Low sperm count, motility or morphology
- Surgically retrieved sperm (ei. prior vasectomy, testicular or epididymal sperm aspiration – TESA, MESA )
- Previously frozen eggs
- Few or low quality eggs
- Sperm are not able to attach to an egg (prior fertilization failure)
- Genetic testing of embryos
- Inadequate number of sperm for conventional IVF or IUI
How is sperm retrieved for use in ICSI?
For men who have low sperm count or sperm with low mobility, the sperm is collected through normal ejaculation. If the man has had a vasectomy, a microsurgical vasectomy reversal is a good first option for restoring fertility. Needle aspiration or microsurgical sperm retrieval are good alternatives when a competent microsurgical vasectomy reversal has failed, or when the man refuses surgery.
Needle aspiration allows the urologist to easily and quickly obtain sperm for the ICSI procedure. A tiny needle is used to extract sperm directly from the testis. Needle aspiration is a simple procedure performed under sedation with minimal discomfort; however, there is the potential for pain and swelling afterward.
A microsurgical testicular sperm extraction (micro TESE) is a surgical procedure used to retrieve sperm from the seminiferous tubules of the testes. Micro TESE is used for men with non-obstructive azoospermia.
How Is ICSI Performed?
During ICSI treatment a single sperm cell is injected into a mature egg. IVF with ICSI involves the following steps –
Fertility medications stimulate the ovaries to grow multiple follicles which contain eggs.
The eggs are retrieved from the ovaries through a minor surgical procedure done under sedation.
Is performed either via masturbation or a testicular biopsy.
The embryologist will select the most normal appearing sperm cells for fertilization. A tiny hollow needle is used for the injection of a single sperm into each egg. Subsequently, the fertilized egg is kept under observation for healthy growth and development in the lab.
Embryo Transfer – The best embryo(s) is selected for transfer into the uterus. If implantation is successful, early pregnancy is supported with hormones. Our fertility specialists will use blood tests and ultrasounds to monitor the progress of your pregnancy.
Benefits of ICSI
Improved fertilization rates in cases of male infertility and prior fertilization failure
- The healthiest appearing sperm cells are preferentially selected for fertilization
- As eggs and sperm are prepared for fertilization by ICSI, the embryologist makes important observations about their quality
- Implantation rates are similar as with conventional IVF
- ICSI allows men with severe infertility to conceive a genetic child
- In men with ejaculation or sperm production problems, extraction of sperm from the testes can be performed
Will ICSI Work?
Generally, ICSI is able to fertilize 50% to 70% of mature eggs. Following fertilization, embryo development is dependent mostly on the quality of the eggs and sperm, as well as, lab conditions.
Does ICSI Pose Risks?
Every medical procedure involves some risk. ICSI allows infertile men to reproduce bypassing some of the physiological blocks to fertilization.
As per the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, in the case where a female is able to conceive naturally, there is a 1% to 3% chance that the baby may suffer from birth defects.
While children who were conceived though the ICSI procedure have a slightly elevated risk of congenital anomalies, this is thought to be largely related to their parents underlying infertility and health issues rather than the ICSI procedure itself. Some issues that lead to infertility may be hereditary.
ICSI is performed on about 70% of all patients undergoing IVF in the United States.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection – ICSI in Orange County
When you come to Eden Fertility Center for ICSI treatment, you will find –
The proficiency of an embryologist plays a pivotal role in the successful fertilization with ICSI. Our embryologists have extensive training and expertise to ensure the highest level of proficiency.
Male infertility specialists with extensive training
We have some of the best urologists and andrologists who are proficient in all aspects of male infertility. Our specialists offer a variety of medical treatments, surgical procedures, and laboratory techniques to optimize the quality of sperm available for ICSI.
Following a detailed evaluation of each case, we offer personalized recommendations for treatment.