Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) in Tennessee
What is ICSI?
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is an assisted reproduction technique that involves injecting a single sperm directly into an egg during in vitro fertilization (IVF). This procedure was first developed in 1990 by Dr. Gianpiero Palermo at the Vrije University in Belgium, with the first successful human births happening in 1992. Since then, the process has become increasingly refined as medical advancements and technologies have continued to evolve and improve.
Why ICSI Is Used
Male Factor Infertility and ICSI
ICSI is often used in IVF to address male factor infertility. This can include fertility issues such as low sperm count, abnormal sperm motility, or inability to break through the egg’s outer layer. ICSI bypasses these issues by putting the sperm right into the egg, making it more likely for the sperm to fertilize the egg. ICSI is also used in situations where sperm must be surgically extracted.
Outside of male factor infertility, ICSI is sometimes recommended in other situations, such as unexplained infertility. It is also recommended for patients who have had failed IVF cycles in the past as well as patients who are using frozen eggs.
The ICSI Process
The ICSI procedure is performed as part of an IVF cycle.
Step 1: Ovarian Stimulation
As with any IVF cycle, the female patient’s ovaries are stimulated using fertility medications, which trigger the development and maturation of several eggs at once. The eggs are then retrieved through a minimally-invasive procedure that involves using an aspirating needle and catheter inserted through the vaginal canal and into the ovaries. The eggs and their surrounding fluids are collected from the follicles and incubated in the laboratory.
Step 2: Sperm Preparation
The male partner provides a semen sample, either through self-stimulation or through microsurgical aspiration. The sample is then processed through centrifugation, which separates the sperm from the seminal fluid.
Step 3: Sperm Injection
Guided by a microscope, the embryologist uses a tiny glass needle known as a micropipette to inject a single sperm directly into the center of the egg.
Success Rates With ICSI
The ICSI procedure has a relatively high fertilization success rate, with between 50 to 80% of eggs being successfully fertilized using this method. It’s important to note that, while ICSI can significantly improve the chances of success, it is not a guarantee of success. Furthermore, successful fertilization does not guarantee that it will lead to a successful pregnancy.
See If ICSI Is Right for You
Fertility is personal—your care should be, too. If you’re interested in exploring your options and seeing if ICSI is right for you, request a consultation with one of our fertility specialists. Let’s make a baby, together.