Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is a technique used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization procedures. Like all ART treatments, the purpose of ICSI is to increase the odds of a successful pregnancy for couples with fertility problems.
To perform intracytoplasmic sperm injection, typical in vitro fertilization procedures are undergone. The female is given fertility medications to encourage ovulation, and once this occurs, the eggs are retrieved by a specialist. In IVF, the sperm and egg are then exposed to each other in a sterile Petri dish. With ICSI, the male's sperm is washed so that healthy sperm can be isolated and evaluated by a specialist. The specialist then carefully selects one sperm cell, collects it, and gently injects it into the female's egg. The cells are then monitored for a few days, and any fertilized embryos can be deposited back into the woman's body or frozen for future use.
The advantage that intracytoplasmic sperm injection provides when used with IVF is especially significant if male infertility is the initial problem. For successful fertilization to occur, sperm must swim through the uterus and fallopian tubes, and still maintain enough vigor to push their way through the surface layer of the egg. In some men, the sperm produced can be too few, unhealthy, or do not have enough energy to burrow into the egg. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection places sperm directly into the egg cell, so that the chance of infertility due to sperm motility concerns is reduced.
Using ICSI can increase the success rate for in vitro fertilization procedures in many patients, but it is still not 100% effective. However, many men and women who decide to undergo in vitro fertilization feel that adding the ICSI procedure is very worthwhile and enhanced their odds of conception. As with all medical procedures, there are some risks, complications, and potential side-effects involved, so please consult with a reputable Fertility expert for more information.
Find out more about Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
Trying to conceive
Pregnancy & Birth