Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a practice used during an in vitro fertilization treatment (IVF). With a typical in vitro fertilization treatment, the female's egg and the male's sperm are placed together anticipating that the sperm will go into the egg and fertilize it. However, with ICSI an embryologist will insert the sperm directly into the egg.
Why is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection given?
This procedure is conducted on men who experience little to no sperm ejaculated into the semen. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is generally used to treat male infertility cases that are severe and require some form of treatment in order to collect viable sperm. The immature sperm are collected from the testicles because these sperm are more likely to fertilize.
There are times when couples do not receive the outcomes they wished for during alternative IVF treatment and ICSI becomes the next step. Approximately, 50% of all IVF treatments are performed through the use of ICSI technology. The technology is highly effective and precise in nature.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection may also be used for couples that desire to have genetic screening conducted on the embryo to check for specific genetic diseases or conditions. With the use of only one sperm for each egg, the technique is reliable and there is little room for contamination of other sperm.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection process in detail
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is a practice used during IVF treatment cases. Therefore, if you have already undergone IVF treatment, then ICSI will be no different because both are done in a lab. The doctor will give you drugs which will stimulate your ovaries and extract an egg once your follicle (which holds immature eggs) is at a good size. Once this is done, the male will give a sperm sample and an embryologist will insert the sperm into each egg that is recovered. After the sperm is inserted into the egg, the doctors will see if fertilization occurred and that the fertilized eggs (embryos) are healthy. If this is the case then the doctors will place the embryos back into the uterus.
Is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection effective?
When used with IVF and when the eggs are viable and of good quality, intracytoplasmic sperm injection can be highly effective. The technique is used to improve the effectiveness of the sperm in men with male infertility factor. It has been proven to increase success in men with very little sperm, no sperm or damaged sperm that is found in the semen.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is not generally used for men with good quality sperm found in the semen, but exclusively used for men who do not have quality sperm or do not have any sperm found in the semen.
Are there risks involved with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection?
As with any IVF or fertility treatment there are some risks or complications involved. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection risks are the same as those involved with in vitro fertilization. There is an increased risk for multiple pregnancy occurrences and ovarian hyper-stimulation.
There may also be a higher rate of birth defects in infants who are conceived with assisted techniques, such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection. It is important to discuss the risks and outcomes with your fertility specialist before proceeding with any fertility procedure.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection treatment success rates
If you choose to forgo intracytoplasmic sperm injection treatment, the success rate of the eggs getting fertilized is about 50% to 80%. However, you need to know that even though a sperm is inserted inside the egg, fertilization may not occur. And even if fertilization does occur, the egg may not keep growing.
But, if fertilization occurs then the success rate of couples who go through ICSI treatment is the exact same as a couple who go through IVF treatment.