Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has transformed male infertility treatment over the last decade, improving the chances of a successful conception when performed alongside IVF. Even when there is no known male infertility factor, ICSI is often used with IVF, as it improves success rates for most patients.
Candidates for ICSI and IVF
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection has many benefits to increase your chances of conception. During consultations, your doctor can help determine if you or your partner meet the criteria for ICSI. Your doctor may recommend ICSI if you‘ve experienced any of the following:
- Unsuccessful traditional IVF treatment
- A failed intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedure
- Diagnosed with sperm abnormalities
- A blockage that prevents sperm from flowing properly
- Difficulties of their sperm attaching to the egg
ICSI can provide you and your partner with a higher success rate by overcoming various fertilization barriers.
The ICSI procedure with IVF
During ICSI, your doctor will inject a single sperm cell directly into an egg. Benefits of this breakthrough in fertility technology include a greater chance of fatherhood if you or your partner suffers from Teratozoospermia (increase concentration of abnormal sperms).
Here’s how ICSI with IVF can improve your odds of success in breakdown of five steps:
- Ovulation stimulation. Your doctor will prescribe the female partner or egg donor with fertility medication, stimulating ovulation to create multiple eggs for fertilization, increasing the chances of a successful IVF and ICSI procedure.
- Egg retrieval. Once the eggs are ready, your doctor will carefully retrieve the eggs from the female partner's ovaries in a minor surgical procedure that typically takes half an hour.
- Sperm retrieval. Your doctor will ask you to provide a semen sample at the clinic in a private collection room. For more severe infertility cases, extraction can be done by a minor surgical procedure—such as testicular sperm extraction (TESE), or microsurgical epidydimal sperm aspiration (MESA / PESA).
- Fertilization and observation. Once your doctor successfully retrieves the egg and sperm, they are passed on to the embryologist, who will inject an individual sperm directly into each retrieved egg using a small hollow needle. The fertilized egg is then monitored for healthy growth and development, typically confirmed within three to six days.
- Embryo transfer. Once embryos are grown they are frozen so a transfer can be scheduled even years later. Usually, just before the embryos are frozen, they are sampled by the embryologist through PGS/PGD in order to test for genetic disease and sex. Once you are ready for a transfer, one of your highest quality embryos is selected for transfer.
The quality of an embryo can heavily influence success rates. Your doctor implants one or two of the embryos into the female partner's uterus with a small catheter. We offer natural IVF or mini IVF as a selection for the procedure, amongst others.
Learn more about the IVF procedure ➜