Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection or ICSI is a technique that can be used to treat certain kinds of male infertility that can’t be overcome with IVF alone. The procedure assists fertilisation by injecting the sperm directly into the egg.
The ICSI procedure is designed for couples who have specific kinds of fertility problems. It may work for you even if conventional IVF hasn’t been able to produce viable embryos. The ICSI procedure is recommended when there are issues that prevent the sperm from fertilising the egg, even when they are brought together in vitro. It might be suitable if you have a very low sperm count, poor motility, or your sperm is abnormally shaped. The ICSI procedure may also be able to help if there are issues with the quality of frozen sperm.
ICSI is a specialised technique that is used alongside the more conventional IVF procedure in order to overcome specific kinds of fertility problems. If you are having ICSI then you will go through all of the same stages of IVF, but the in vitro fertilisation will happen in a slightly different way. Instead of simply allowing the eggs and sperm to mix, we will intervene to bring them together. A single sperm cell will be injected directly into each egg. The resulting embryos can then be transferred into the womb when they are ready. The success rate for fertilisation by ICSI is very high, at approximately 90%. The success rates for implantation and later stages are then similar to conventional IVF.
In some cases, we may also need to collect the sperm in a different way. The male fertility problems that can prevent fertilisation from happening can also make it harder to get a good sperm sample. For example, your semen may not contain many sperm cells if they are unable to move well. We may be able to get a larger number of viable sperm if we extract them surgically from your testicles or epididymis (the tube where they are stored). Although surgical extraction may sound a bit scary, it’s a very simple procedure that is usually performed by using a fine needle to collect the sperm. You won’t usually feel anything as you’ll be given a local anaesthetic. The sperm can then be injected into the egg using the ICSI procedure.
Our experienced fertility doctors can arrange tests to check for the kinds of male fertility problems that ICSI may help to overcome. We can also provide personalised advice on the best approach to fertility treatment for you. If you need to have ICSI as part of your IVF treatment then we can arrange all of your care either in London or overseas. We can arrange the ICSI procedure as part of IVF abroad in Dubai, Bahrain or Greece.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to learn more about ICSI. Our fertility specialists can advise you on whether ICSI is right for you and arrange IVF treatment using this procedure in the UK or overseas.
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