ICSI (Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection) Q&A

Mr Sabah Baghdadi is a consultant Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and Specialist in Infertility with a long association with the Fertility Centre at The Priory Hospital since 1989.

Here we ask him about what is involved in the Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) treatment, including the reasons for the procedure, the risks and alternatives.

Mr Sabah Baghdadi
ICSI is a form of assisted conception. It is putting Inside or intra(I) the Cytoplasm of the egg(C), the sperm(S) by injection(I) to help form an embryo. The embryo can be put back in the woman's womb to achieve a pregnancy.

Mr Sabah Baghdadi
While IVF is mixing the sperm and the egg to form an embryo, ICSI is used when the sperm count or quality is poor and cannot penetrate the egg. ICSI is needed to give the sperm a helping hand by injecting the sperm inside the egg to form an embryo. Some times in Azoospermia (no sperm in the ejaculate), we have to extract very few numbers of sperm left directly from the testicles. We then do ICSI with the sperm found and can achieve a pregnancy.

Mr Sabah Baghdadi
Most important is preparing the mother to collect her eggs. This is by stimulating the mother with drugs over 2-4 weeks, then a minor operation to collect the eggs.  ICSI itself is done in the laboratory with the partner's sperm. When the embryos are formed we select the best embryo and transfer it into the mother. The rest of the good embryos if any, can be frozen to use in the future when needed to form more children.

Mr Sabah Baghdadi
In theory there is no alternative when the sperm is very poor, but sometimes pregnancy can still occur even when the sperm is very poor.

Mr Sabah Baghdadi
In general, assisted conception has a higher rate by 1% for genetic abnormalities in babies above normal conception in the general population. With ICSI we are breaching the natural barriers, in theory the baby may inherit the father's genetic or infertility problems. 

Mr Sabah Baghdadi
I wanted to be a consultant in assisted conception, because I think the gift of a new life to a childless couple is the greatest satisfaction in life. With assisted conception there is great satisfaction and joy.  

Mr Sabah Baghdadi
The thousands of children that I have helped to be born for childless couples. Every time I receive an e-mail or a thank you card. The Lovely pictures that I receive from parents of children born with my help and their progress and growth. Some of these are 13 years old and in schools.

To find out more about the Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) treatment call us on 0808 101 0337 or make an online enquiry.

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