ART “Assisted Reproductive Technology” provides a number of infertility solutions and ICSI happens to be among them. Some couples, who have failed to conceive naturally, are treated through ICSI and the procedure has proved to be successful. Among the currently estimated infertility rate “30%”, a majority of patients are treated through IVF, but currently, ICSI treatment procedures are hiking.
How Well Do You Understand ICSI?
“Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection” is generally a reproductive technology where a single sperm is directly injected into the egg for fertilization to occur. ICSI can also be part of the IVF procedure, depending on the actual cause of infertility in a couple. During an ICSI treatment, a woman may undergo ovarian stimulation after which her eggs are collected. The male sperms can be surgically collected and then injected into the egg. A very fine micro-manipulation equipment is used for this purpose.
When is ICSI an Option? “Obvious Candidates”
- ICSI treatment becomes the next option when a couple experiences multiple failed IVF attempts.
- When a woman has an insufficient number of eggs, which renders IVF impossible
- In the case of male infertility
- In the case of secondary infertility
- In case of unexplained infertility
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection & Male Infertility
Generally speaking, ICSI is commonly used in the case of male infertility. Your fertility expert is likely to recommend the treatment in the case of;
- Weak Sperms
To fertilize an egg, sperms have to travel to the Fallopian tubes where fertilization occurs. Male partners who are unable to help their wives conceive are more likely to obtain ICSI for conception.
- Sperm Defects “Teratozoospermia, Abnormalities”
For fertilization to occur, the male sperm has to have a normal size and shape. In case the majority of the sperms has an abnormal shape, fertilization is definitely compromised. In this case, sperms have to be retrieved from a man and then screen to retrieve the viable ones and lastly injected into the egg.
- Low Sperm count
Oligospermia is one of the major reasons for the soaring male infertility cases today. Men with a sperm count less than 15 million sperm/ml have an increased risk of infertility, meaning that they have to obtain assistance to have a family. ICSI can help men with Oligospermia.
- Surgical Interventions (MESA/PESA, TESE/TESA)
Situations where sperms can’t be ejaculated due to vasectomy, trauma, obstructions, and premature ejaculation, the above-mentioned procedures must be conducted to retrieve the sperms from the testicles or the epididymis to facilitate fertilization.
How Good is ICSI When it Comes to Reproduction?
75% of eggs are fertilized via the ICSI technique. Studies also indicate that a number of couples also manage to have a successful ICSI treatment with only the first attempt. Depending on the existing fertility barrier, ICSI embryos can be co-cultured with follicular cells to increase their chances of implantation.
Similarly, assisted embryo hatching is possible to help the embryos with a hard shell hatch out. Several embryo screenings are possible to check for any genetic defects that may be passed on to the offspring.