Know how intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI Procedure) can help you conceive a child

Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection or is one of the most successful treatments used for infertile men and is used in nearly half of all . Before a man’s sperm can fertilize a woman’s egg, the head of the sperm has to attach to the outside of the egg. After which it must push through the outer layer of the egg to the inside of the egg (cytoplasm). Sometimes, the sperm cannot penetrate the outer layer.

In such cases, intra-cytoplasmic procedure (ICSI) can help fertilize the egg by injecting the sperm directly into the egg. The fertilized egg (embryo) is then transferred to the womb. ICSI is highly recom-mended if the male has a very low or zero sperm count, a high percentage of abnormally shaped sperms (resulting in poor motility), difficulty in ejaculating due to injury or disease or in case of irreversible vasec-tomy. When combined with conventional IVF methods, intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection procedures have proven to be quite successful. However, the success rate also depends on factors such as age and the exact fertility problem.

ICSI allows couples with low sperm count or poor quality sperm to have a baby. It is also a promising option for those who have not achieved fertilization in previous IVF attempts. In addition to this, special urological procedures are also available for patients who have difficulty obtaining sperm or for men who have no sperm in the ejaculate at all. The younger you are the higher the chances of success (32 per cent if you are under 35 and 28 per cent if you are between 35 and 37.)

How does ICSI work?

In traditional IVF, sperm cells are mixed with a woman’s egg in a laboratory. Then, a small needle is used to inject one sperm into the eggs obtained from in-vitro fertilization. The fertilized egg grows in a laboratory for one to five days, after which it is placed in the woman’s uterus (womb).

In what instances can ICSI help?

The ICSI procedure can help couples where the man’s sperm

  • Is not able to reach the egg at all
  • Can get to the egg, but not fertilize it

The ICSI procedure is recommended when the male partner has one of the following:

  • A very low or zero sperm count
  • Abnormally shaped sperms with poor motility
  • The sperm may have trouble attaching to the egg
  • A blockage in reproductive tract preventing sperm from getting out

ICSI treatment can also be used when the use of traditional IVF has not produced fertilization, regardless of the condition of the sperm.

Is Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) the answer for all problems related to male fertility?

The fertilisation rate after ICSI treatment is about 50% to 80%. But the following may occur after the use of ICSI:

  • The egg might not grow into an embryo even after it is injected with sperm
  • The embryo may stop growing
  • The ICSI procedure might damage some eggs

Once fertilization takes place, a couple’s chance of giving birth to a single baby, twins, or triplets is the same if they have IVF with or without ICSI.

What are the chances of success?

The chances of success are quite like the conventional IVF methods. The success rates vary according to the specific fertility problems being faced by the couple and their age.

What is the length of an ICSI treatment?

One cycle takes anywhere from four weeks to six weeks to get completed. The couple undergoing treatment might need to spend half a day at the clinic for the egg and sperm retrieval processes. They are asked to come back two to six days later for the embryo transfer procedure.

Can ICSI affect a baby’s development?

If a woman gets pregnant naturally, there is a 1.5% to 3% chance that the baby will have a major birth defect. The chances of birth defects after ICSI are bleak. Certain conditions that have been associated with the use of ICSI (Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, Angelman syndrome, hypospadi-as, or sex chromosome abnormalities) are thought to occur in far less than 1% of children con-ceived using this technique.

If the male partner has a low sperm count due to his genes, then he can pass this on to the male child he bears with his partner. Therefore, these boys conceived with the use of ICSI may have in-fertility issues as adults.

Most doctors recommend a blood test, before a person is subjected to the ICSI cycle if the cause is thought to be genetic. It is also necessary that male partners be provided with counselling, before and after they take the test, so that they are better able to deal with the process and the decision it entails.

Talk to us to find out more

Call +91 080 4350 0123 or +91 080 6799 9999 to know more about the ICSI procedure. Alternatively, fix an appointment with one of our qualified fertility specialists.