Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection or ICSI as it’s better known is a specialised laboratory technique that has revolutionised treatment for fertilisation problems, and in particular, male factor infertility, since its introduction in 1992.
What does ICSI involve?
The ICSI procedure is performed in the lab, after the egg collection. ICSI involves the injection of a single sperm into the fluid contents of the egg cell, called cytoplasm. A glass pipette, which is finer than a human hair, is used to collect a single sperm and inject it into the egg. The fertilised embryo(s) is then transferred to the women’s womb. Other than this element in the lab, your experience of treatment is the same as that of patients undergoing IVF.
Who is ICSI suitable for?
This treatment is particularly suitable for couples with a male factor infertility problem such as:
- low sperm count
- the sperm has morphology or motility issues
- the sperm needs to be surgically collected for example the male has had a vasectomy
ICSI success rates
ICSI itself is very successful at helping the sperm and the egg to fertilise, success rates tend to be very similar to conventional IVF. On average, around 70-75% of eggs fertilise with the ICSI procedure.
However, as with all IVF treatment there are still many other factors affecting a successful pregnancy, including the age of the woman and whether she has any fertility issues herself.
Advantages of ICSI
- Improved Fertilization: Fertilization is possible even with very low numbers of sperm. ICSI has a fertilization rate of around 70%.
- Male factor infertility: ICSI is effective for several different types of sperm problems.
- Widely used technique: It is a widely used technique.