Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injections (ICSI)

For couples going through the challenges of infertility, it helps to become educated on the different forms of In Vitro Fertilization that are available to you and your partner. Typically, women are our focus when it comes to infertility. However, in this article we will explain a micro insemination that benefits male infertility problems. There is now a revolutionized assisted reproductive technology (ART) that specializes in enhancing the fertilization phase called Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injections (ICSI).

What exactly is ICSI?

ICSI is a process that helps couples with male infertility issues move forward in the fertilization process. With ICSI, embryologists take sperm and inject it through the clear zone surrounding the egg and into the cytoplasm using microscopic tools and high power technology.
If you are a male with any of the following complications, you may be a good candidate for ICSI:

  • Low sperm count
  • Low motility
  • Have had trauma to the testes
  • Congenitally born missing vas deferens
  • Taking medication for different cancers

Being irreversibly sterile can now be reversed through the ICSI procedure, giving you the rewarding opportunity to father a child. 

How does this work?

Sperm and egg collection: If sperm cannot be collected, it is surgically removed from the testicles through a small incision. This retrieval process is done when there is a blockage that prevents sperm from being ejaculated or problems with sperm development. The female will undergo ovarian stimulation to produce eggs and will be collected by the same process that is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

The procedure: This delicate process uses high-power magnification to carefully inject the human egg. A microscopic glass pipette is used to hold the egg in place for injection. An additional delicate microscopic hollow pipette with a sharp end contains the sperm that is injected to the egg. The clear protection around egg (zona pellucida) is pierced, and a single sperm is deposited into each egg.

After culturing and incubation, fertilization is accessed the following day, 16-19 hours post procedure. The eggs that have been successfully fertilized are selected. Two to four eggs are placed in the uterus using a thin flexible tube that is inserted through the cervix.

What are the risks?

This innovative micro insemination procedure that provides males with the chance to father a child has proven to have a 50 to 80 percent fertilization rate. Although this is a positive outcome for most, like other medical processes there are possibilities of risks.
If you think you are a fit for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injections (ICSI), and you want to learn more about the details and risks, here is a list of common questions for your physician:

  • What are the risks of ICSI?
  • How effective is the procedure?
  • Does this damage the egg?
  • How long does the procedure take?