What is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)?
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI, involves injecting a single live sperm directly into the center of a human egg. The method was designed to help couples with male factor infertility or couples who haven’t had success in a previous in vitro fertilization (IVF) attempt.
ICSI is a beneficial procedure for many couples. It overcomes many of the barriers to fertilization and gives hope of achieving successful pregnancies to obtain fertilized embryos.
ICSI is also used in IVF when PGT is performed to prevent contamination of DNA material from non-fertilizing sperm in the biopsy needed to obtain PGT results.
How ICSI Works
There are a couple of ways that an egg may be fertilized:
Traditional IVF: swimming sperm are positioned next to the egg in our fertility lab. Fertilization will occur when one of the sperm enters the cytoplasm of the egg.
ICSI Process: A tiny needle called a micropipette is used to inject a single sperm into the center of the egg. Once fertilization occurs, the now-fertilized egg (or embryo) develops in our laboratory before it is transferred to the woman’s uterus.
ICSI Retains High Success Rates
Through ICSI, many couples have achieved fertilization even with male infertility problems.
Fertilization rates which are comparable to fertilization with regular sperm are presently being achieved. Pregnancy rates are also very comparable to those seen with IVF when the male partner doesn’t have fertility issues.
Sometimes, the sperm cannot fertilize the women’s egg properly because it cannot pass through the outer layer (cytoplasm). Patients often can make the decision to undergo the ICSI procedure to benefit from the high success rates.