Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a new innovative technique used for assisted reproductive technology (ART). During in vitro fertilization (IVF), one sperm cell is placed inside of an egg.
How is intracytoplasmic sperm injection done?
With intracytoplasmic sperm injection, the embryologist takes a single sperm cell and injects it into the egg. Our fertility clinic recommends ICSI for every IVF cycle. This procedure is used for those clients with male infertility issues or other medical problems.
Why is ICSI done?
ICSI is usually used for severe cases of male infertility as well as issues of female infertility, which include:
Abnormally shaped sperm (tertozoospermia)
Very low sperm count (oligospermia)
Poor sperm mobility (asthenozoospermia)
Retrograde ejaculation, where the sperm goes into the urine
Very few eggs retrieved during IVF
Previous IVF cycle had none or only a few fertilized eggs
Frozen sperm or sperm donor cells are being used
How are the sperm retrieved?
When a man does not produce enough sperm in his ejaculate, the sperm are often retrieved through the process of testicular sperm extraction (TESE). The fertility specialist uses ultrasound-guided technology to aspirate sperm from the testicles.
What are the steps of the ICSI-IVF procedure?
ICSI is done in the laboratory setting. As with regular IVF, the woman’s ovaries are stimulated using fertility drugs. The doctor monitors your progress using ultrasound technology and certain blood tests. The drugs help you produce adequate sized follicles (sacs around eggs). The eggs are retrieved using an ultrasound-guided needle.
The sperm is collected from the male partner or frozen sperm is used. The embryologist places the eggs in a special culture dish and uses a microscope and tiny needle to inject a single sperm into an egg. After fertilization occurs, the embryos are placed into the woman’s uterus, which occurs via catheter through the cervix and around 3-5 days after eggs are retrieved.
How much does ICSI cost?
ICSI alone cost between $850 to $2,000, which is in addition to the general IVF cost (average of around $14,000).
What risks are associated with ICSI?
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is a laboratory procedure that is safe for the unborn child. There is a very slight increased risk of birth defects, with a normal pregnancy carrying a 2.0% risk. There is also a slightly increased chance that a male baby will have fertility problems in the future, as male infertility is a genetic condition in many cases. In addition, a weak sperm could be selected.
Does intracytoplasmic sperm injection work?
The ICSI procedure has a 60-80% chance of fertilizing eggs. However, fertilization is not guaranteed even when a sperm cell is injected directly into the egg. In addition, even when fertilization occurs, the embryo may not grow as expected or may not form. The rates of successful pregnancy decrease as a woman ages. The percentages of ICSI-IVF cycles that result in live births are 35% for women age 34 years and younger. For women 35-37 years, the rate is 29%, for those 38 to 41 years of age the rate is 21%, and the rate drops to 14% for women 42 to 44 years of age.
How long will intracytoplasmic sperm injection treatment take?
For one cycle of ICSI, it takes around 4-6 weeks. This includes initial consultation, examination, and testing. Also, you will be at the medical facility one full day for the egg and sperm retrieval procedures. The couple must return to the fertility clinic 3-6 days after retrieval of sperm and egg for the embryo transfer procedure.