What is ICSI?
ICSI involves injecting a single sperm directly into an egg using a microneedle. The fertilised egg is then cultured in a laboratory for several days before being transferred to the woman’s uterus. ICSI is typically used when there are issues with the quality or quantity of sperm, or if previous attempts at fertilisation have been unsuccessful.
How does ICSI work?
ICSI begins with the same process as traditional IVF, which involves stimulating the woman’s ovaries to produce multiple eggs. The eggs are then retrieved from the ovaries using a needle guided by ultrasound. The retrieved eggs are then placed in a culture dish with a special solution designed to simulate the environment of the fallopian tubes.
A single sperm is then selected and injected directly into the centre of the egg using a microneedle. The fertilised egg is then cultured in a laboratory for several days to allow for cell division and growth. At this point, the fertilised eggs are called embryos.
Embryos that reach the Blastocyst stage of development may be frozen for use in future cycles or transferred to the woman’s uterus with the hope of achieving a successful pregnancy.
ICSI has several benefits for couples facing infertility. These include:
- Increased Fertilisation Rates: ICSI has been shown to have higher fertilisation rates than traditional IVF in certain cases, making it an effective option for couples facing issues with the quality or quantity of sperm.
- Greater Control: ICSI provides greater control over the fertilisation process, allowing for the selection of a single sperm to be injected directly into the egg.
- Improved Success Rates: ICSI has been shown to have improved success rates in couples facing male factor infertility or previous failed attempts at fertilisation.
You can learn more about ICSI at ReproMed here