Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is an ancillary method of increasing the chances of a pregnancy through IVF. ICSI is primarily used to address male-factor infertility. Rather than allowing fertilization to happen by combining eggs and sperm in a lab dish, ICSI is the process of injecting a single sperm directly into an egg. Knowing more about the ICSI process and its effectiveness can help you decide if this ancillary treatment option in conjunction with IVF may help you achieve a successful pregnancy.
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.
Use of ICSI
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. The eggs are then monitored in vitro for signs of fertilization. The resulting embryos are closely monitored as they develop through EmbryoScope technology. One or more healthy embryos are then transferred to the mother's uterus during the fresh IVF cycle – 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.
ICSI in Conjunction With IVF Experts
It is important to work with a fertility team having the research and clinical experience required to design a customized IVF treatment plan meeting your personal and medical needs. To schedule your initial consultation with one of the fertility experts at New Hope Fertility Center, click the icon below – or – call 917.525.5496.