Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is an artificial procedure similar to IVF. This technique is mostly preferred in case of severe male infertility issues like ejaculatory failure, low sperm count and Azoospermia. ICSI is a refined version of IVF where a single sperm is strengthened and injected into female ova (egg) to initiate conception. The diagnostic and screening process is similar to IVF. ICSI is recommended when:
- The shape of the sperm is abnormal
- The previous IVF cycle fails to produce any fertilized egg. In this scenario, ICSI technique may be used for the next IVF cycle
- The sperm is not strong enough to reach the female egg through natural means
- A male who had vasectomy previously needs sperm to be extracted to fertilize the female egg
- Ovarian fertility drugs are given to a woman by an embryologist to produce healthy eggs for fertilization and follicles are examined by ultrasounds and blood tests until eggs get matured.
- Eggs are retrieved from the female ovary with the help of a tiny needle that is attached to the ultrasound probe.
- Fresh sperms are collected on the same day of fertilization and placed in a culture with eggs.
- Each egg is then injected with sperm and left for fertilization.
- The embryo thus formed, if found good enough, is transferred to the uterus through the catheter with ultrasound.
- As mentioned earlier, ICSI could help in producing a genetic child even when the male has fertility issues.
- There is a greater chance of fertilization and embryo formation in ICSI compared to IVF.
- The success rates of ICSI and IVF are similar and ICSI can be away when the cause of infertility cannot be determined.
- The side effects in ICSI are similar to those associated with IVF.
- Multiple pregnancies, OHS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) due to stimulating drugs administered for IVF and embryo growth failure.
- Since ICSI requires precision while injecting sperm, there is a rare possibility of damage to the egg if not done carefully.
- The male offspring produced through ICSI may have infertility issues passed genetically.
Some couples have already used ICSI successfully and rate it highly as it is convenient and the possibility of congenital disabilities is minimal. The advantages of ICSI far outweigh the risks involved. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!