Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a method of addressing male-factor infertility through IVF treatment. Rather than allowing fertilization to happen by combining eggs and sperm in a lab dish, ICSI is the injection of a single sperm directly into an egg in order to facilitate fertilization. Knowing more about the ICSI process and its effectiveness can help you understand if this ancillary treatment option in conjunction with IVF.
ICSI in Conjunction with IVF
In order to be considered fertile, a man’s sperm must:
- Be present in sufficient quantities
- Be shaped normally
- Swim in the correct direction
- Swim at the right speed
Should any of these functions be diagnosed as abnormal, a man may not be able to impregnate a woman because his sperm cannot penetrate her egg. A man may be infertile even if he produces adequate quantities of sperm in ejaculate. Should his sperm be misshaped or not move correctly, fertilization will be difficult, if not impossible.
How ICSI Works in Tandem with IVF
ICSI may be used whenever male fertility is a concern. The process can address issues with the shape and movement of sperm and compensate for low sperm count. If sperm are produced but are not present in semen, they can be manually retrieved and then used in the ICSI process. The process may also be suggested to couples who have had low fertilization rates during other cycles.
ICSI and IVF Process
ICSI is performed in conjunction with IVF. Once retrieved, each egg is injected with a single sperm in a laboratory setting. The eggs are then monitored for signs of fertilization. The resulting embryos are closely monitored as they develop through EmbryoScope technology. Healthy embryos are then transferred to the mother's uterus, or frozen for future Frozen Embryo Transfers (FET).
ICSI and IVF Pregnancy Success
While pregnancy success may vary based on the quality of the sperm, typically between 75 and 85 percent of eggs become fertilized with the use of ICSI. This is different than the pregnancy rates which can be expected from the process. Pregnancy rates are largely a function of the health of the embryo, which is largely tied to the quality of both the eggs and sperm.
Because lower dosages of fertility medications are prescribed to only produce 3 to 5 high quality eggs, the patient’s cost per Mini-IVF™ cycle is reduced. With a Mini-IVF™ protocol, the patient’s physical discomfort is lessened because her body is not forced into producing the 10 to 15 eggs reached in a Conventional IVF cycle.
Candidates for Mini-IVF™
Mini-IVF™ is the best treatment protocol for those women who have been:
- Diagnosed with blocked or damaged Fallopian tubes due to endometriosis
- Diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Diagnosed as having a risk of developing Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)
- Diagnosed with a low ovarian reserve due to endometriosis
- Diagnosed with cancer and are about to undergo treatment
Mini-IVF™ has also become the preferred treatment protocol for:
- Those patients who have failed multiple Conventional IVF cycles
- Those patients suffering from male-factor infertility
- Those patients wanting to reduce their costs of treatment
- Those patients wanting to reduce their risk of multiple pregnancy
- Those patients who don’t want to create excessive embryos due to religious reasons
- Those patients who want to reduce their use of injectable medications because of an aversion to needles
- Those patients who want to undergo another fresh IVF cycle immediately after a failed cycle
World Renowned IVF Treatment
It is important to work with a first class fertility care team having the experience required to design a customized IVF treatment plan meeting your personal needs. To schedule your initial consultation with one of the world renowned fertility specialists at New Hope Fertility Center, click the icon below – or – call 917.525.5496.