When to consider Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

Overview of Infertility

Infertility, defined as being unable to become pregnant even though you have unprotected sex frequently for at least a year, affects 10-15 percent of couples in this country.

Although most couples will eventually succeed in becoming pregnant with or without treatment, for those who don’t, there exist many safe and effective assisted reproductive treatments (ART) that improve the chances significantly.

ART covers a broad spectrum of procedures, depending on the cause of infertility. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is one of many.

 

WHAT IS INTRACYTOPLASMIC SPERM INJECTION (ICSI)?

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), most commonly used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF), is an assisted reproductive technique (ART) developed in 1993 for the treatment of male infertility.

A procedure in which a sperm is injected directly into an egg to achieve fertilization, ICSI is used for specific male infertility issues.
If sperm isn’t the cause of the infertility, IVF is likely to be recommended instead.

 

WHEN IS INTRACYTOPLASMIC SPERM INJECTION (ICSI) USED?

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is frequently used when there are problems of quality or number with the male’s semen or if fertilization attempts during prior in vitro fertilization cycles have failed.

Defective sperm is one of the single most common causes of infertility. When male fertility problems reduce the chances that healthy sperm can penetrate the egg’s outer surface, inserting the sperm manually improves the odds significantly. Male obstacles to successful fertilization include:

 

 

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN INTRACYTOPLASMIC SPERM INJECTION (ICSI)?

The first step in intracytoplasmic sperm injection is gathering a sample of the male’s sperm through masturbation at the physician’s office or home, frozen and prepared when thawed. Sperm may also be collected surgically through a small incision in the testicle, a painless and short procedure.

The next step is the preparation of sperm by “washing,” a process which separates quality sperm from the less desirable and produces a highly concentrated sample, improving the probability of fertilization.

After the egg (s) is prepared, the readied sperm is carefully injected with a small needle, a delicate technique called micromanipulation requiring skill, training, and experience to avoid damage.

After injection, the fertilized egg is observed for signs of development; once confirmed, the embryo is transferred to the uterus for implantation and growth.

 

DOES INTRACYTOPLASMIC SPERM INJECTION HAVE SIDE EFFECTS?

As with any procedure, problems may emerge during ICSI procedures, many related to IVF. Potential issues include:

 

 

Contact your local URA clinic in Hasbrouck Heights, Hoboken, and Wayne, NJ for more information. Your friendly URA team will be happy to provide more details on intracytoplasmic sperm injection and discuss treatment options.

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