ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) for Male Infertility Treatment

ICSI_male_infertilityInfertility affects about twelve percent of couples of childbearing age. Infertility is not just a woman’s concern. Moreover, sometimes the problem is mistakenly attributed to the woman, especially in cases of a positive pregnancy test with a later bleeding or miscarriage. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, one third of infertility cases are due to male factor, one third are attributed to female factor, and the remaining third are unexplained and typically involve problems on both sides.

In infertility cases where there is a question about sperm’s ability to fertilize the egg, patients can often resort to IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection or ICSI. In general, couples can use this microsurgical procedure for the following male infertility problems:

  • low sperm counts or low sperm motility
  • abnormally shaped sperm
  • high levels of sperm antibodies preventing conception caused by vasectomy reversal
  • previous IVF cycles without successful fertilization or implantation
  • blockage in reproductive tract that prevents sperm from making its way out

Although ICSI is predominately used to address the male factor problems, in some cases, it can also be used with women who have certain egg production conditions in order to verify that the egg is healthy. Moreover, the technique is proven to be a helpful method for older couples who have experienced previous failed IVF attempts.

What is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)?

ICSI_IVFIn a natural setting, in order for sperm to fertilize an egg, the head of the sperm must attach to the outside of the egg and push its way through the outer layer to the inside. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into a mature egg. This way, the sperm cell need not generate the energy required for penetration of the egg’s membrane.

First, the woman’s ovaries are stimulated with fertility medications so that several mature eggs develop. Your doctor will use ultrasound to monitor development of the eggs. Once the eggs are ready for harvest, our doctors will retrieve them during a transvaginal ultrasound-guided egg aspiration procedure. To prevent any discomfort, you will be sedated for this fifteen minute procedure. In the meantime, sperm is collected or extracted from the male partner. The semen sample is then prepared, separating live sperm from debris and most of the dead sperm. In the washing procedure, only healthy and normal sperm are left for use.

Once eggs are retrieved and the sperm is available, our embryologists will collect a single sperm in a tiny, hollow needle and insert it carefully and under the microscope into the outer membrane of the mature egg. Once the needle is successfully inserted, the sperm is gently expelled into the cytoplasm, or interior, of the egg. The needle is gently removed and within about three days following the procedure, the eggs are checked for fertilization. When the egg begins to divide, the resulting embryo is implanted in the uterus in a simple and painless procedure. In case when more than one egg is successfully fertilized, remaining embryos can be frozen for future cycles.

Numerous studies show that babies conceived through ICSI are physically, mentally, and genetically completely normal, no matter how poor the sperm of the father is. The egg might not grow into an embryo, even after being injected with the sperm or stop growing altogether. If fertilization does occur, the likelihood of a couple seeing the pregnancy to full term and to giving birth to a baby, or to multiple babies, is no different with ICSI than with IVF.

Our overseas fertility doctors offer ICSI and the procedure can be added to your package for an additional fee of $800.

Call us today for a free consultation with a doctor and our affordable IVF package details or click below to get started.

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