Potential parents who’ve been disappointed by failed fertility treatments might have better outcomes with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). ICSI is used along with traditional in vitro fertilization (IVF).
In ICSI, a woman’s eggs are combined with sperm in a laboratory setting, and the resulting embryo is implanted back into the uterus. The ICSI procedure involves inserting a single sperm into each egg, eliminating sperm penetration during fertilization.
When is ICSI Used?
Certain circumstances might require ICSI in conjunction with IVF. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is typically used for couples who have attempted conception with no results due to male infertility problems. This can include sperm concentrations of under 15-20 million sperm per mL, less than 35% sperm motility, or sperm with very poor morphology.
ICSI is also sometimes used in couples with a low yield of eggs during egg retrieval. In this case, ICSI is used to attempt to obtain a higher percentage of eggs fertilized than with conventional insemination of the eggs by mixing them together with sperm.
If your reproductive endocrinologist concludes that fertilization using other methodologies would be insufficient, ICSI IVF might be a viable solution.
Candidates for ICSI treatment include:
- Males with low sperm count or poor sperm motility (movement)
- Males with abnormally shaped sperm
- Males who have had an unsuccessful vasectomy reversal
- Couples with advanced maternal age
- Women with diminished ovarian reserve
If the male partner’s sperm count is low or has poor sperm motility, the sperm can be accessed through standard ejaculation. However, suppose the sperm count is extremely low or nonexistent due to vasectomy. In that case, the male can opt for sperm retrieval using needle aspiration, which is the most efficient strategy for collecting sufficient sperm for the treatment.
The ICSI Process
The process involves inserting an extremely thin needle directly into the testis, from which the sperm are extracted. They are then centrifuged to isolate the stronger, more active sperm that are less likely to exhibit malformations.
Fertility medications are administered orally or via injection to the female partner to accelerate ovulation and access mature eggs in preparation for IVF. The resulting eggs are collected using an ultrasound-guided tool. The quality of the extracted eggs is observed and assessed before the procedure.
A needle is used to insert the single sperm into the cytoplasm of the egg where the sperm is injected.
After the fertilization has been established, the embryo is transferred into the uterine cavity. From there, the patient is observed for signs of pregnancy. Fertility specialists can use a blood test or ultrasound to determine if proper implantation and pregnancy have been achieved.
What is ICSI IVF?
ICSI IVF has been shown to deliver successful outcomes for patients for whom other fertilization efforts have failed. While male infertility is one of the main reasons ICSI protocols are employed, the procedure could help overcome other fertility conditions.
These include previously unsuccessful IVF treatments and atypical or unexplained infertility issues. Often, couples opt for ICSI as a fail-safe even when other procedures haven’t been attempted.
Success rates for ICSI are generally very high. Pregnancies achieved using this treatment option are roughly equivalent to those using IVF, where male subfertility is not a contributor.
About 70-85% of eggs injected using ICSI become fertilized in most IVF programs. This is known as the fertilization rate, which is different than the pregnancy success rate.
Start Your Family Today with PRC
The fertility specialists at PRC have helped hundreds of patients welcome healthy babies after ICSI treatments. We have enjoyed exceptionally high success rates with this procedure in large part due to our state-of-the-art on-site laboratory.
This allows the micromanipulation process to begin immediately to ensure the health and integrity of the embryos are not compromised due to transfer to outside facilities.
Your doctor can help you understand if ICSI is right for you: give us a call today to discuss your fertility options–(866) 970-3050.