Intracytoplasmic sperminjection, or ICSI, is a technique sometimes used in the in vitro fertilization process. This technique is often more successful than other types of fertilization, making it an ideal choice for many couples that want to increase their chances of conception.
During ICSI, the male's spermis injected directly into the eggs for fertilization. After the egg has been fertilized, the resulting embryo is left to develop for several days before it is placed inside the female's uterus for implantation. This technique is useful in a variety of situations involving a male infertility factor. Some of the situations that may warrant the use of ICSI include:
- Very low spermcount
- Spermthat are abnormally shaped Spermwith low motility
- Low-quality frozen spermmust be used Spermmust be collected surgically
- You had problems with a previous fertilization
In all of these cases, ICSI will be more effective than relying on traditional fertilization techniques. Because the spermis injected directly into the egg, the chances of a successful fertilization increase. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the use of ICSI results in significantly fewer cycle cancellations than conventional IVF in cases where male infertility is a factor. Because of its effectiveness, ICSI has become more popular among couples with male infertility as a factor. Specifically, the CDC reports that more than 93 percent of couples with male factor infertility were using this technology in 2012. Even in cases where couples are not dealing with male factor infertility, ICSI may still raise the chances of a successful fertilization and implantation.
Risks of ICSI
Although ICSI is more successful than other types of fertilization in many cases, it is not without risks. ICSI can cause damage to some embryos. If a damaged embryo is used in the IVF procedure, implantation may fail. If implantation occurs, the damage to the embryo may cause the pregnancy to fail, or it may cause the baby to be born with birth defects. The risk of certain abnormalities may also be higher among babies conceived with ICSI even if the embryo isn't damaged in the fertilization process. Specific abnormalities that may be more likely to occur with ICSI include hypospadias, sex chromosome abnormalities, and Angelman syndrome. However, most pregnancies resulting from ICSI are healthy.
ICSI is not right for every couple, but it can dramatically increase the chances of a successful fertilization and a healthy pregnancy for patients with certain issues. To find out more about ICSI and IVF treatment in general, you need to make an appointment with a qualified specialist. Please contact Vicken Sepilian, MD, today to schedule a consultation.