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Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is recommended for couples with fertility difficulties due to sperm-related infertility problems. Book online today.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is an additional step to IVF. ICSI is the process by which a single sperm is injected into an egg. The fertilised egg is then placed into the uterus.
This method may be recommended for couples who are experiencing fertility difficulties due to sperm-related infertility problems or if IVF has previously resulted in eggs not fertilising.
If you are having trouble naturally conceiving and you have been told that you (or your partner) have a low sperm count, you may be a good candidate for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
To determine whether this fertility treatment is right for you, speak with your doctor about your options.
ICSI is a treatment, which is used to treat patients with severe male factor infertility and for whom conventional IVF is inappropriate, has failed, or has produced very poor fertilisation previously. Its main advantage over routine IVF is that we only need one sperm to inject into each egg and therefore it is possible to achieve fertilisation in cases with severely reduced sperm counts, poor sperm motility, or low numbers of normally shaped sperm. It can also be used in cases where sperm has to be removed surgically from the testis, or when there are high numbers of anti-sperm antibodies present.
ICSI was first introduced into clinical treatment in 1992. It involves injecting a single sperm directly into the centre of each egg. The fertilized egg can then be transferred into the womb of the woman as in a normal IVF cycle. ICSI is simply an additional step to routine IVF, performed in the laboratory. Before and after the ICSI procedure, treatment is identical to IVF therefore please read the information about IVF.
After the egg collection, the eggs are prepared and assessed by the Embryologist. Only mature eggs will be suitable for injection, and not all the eggs collected will have reached the required maturity. Usually we will be able to inject at least 80% of the eggs collected.
The process of injecting the sperm does damage a small number of eggs (<10%). The damage usually becomes evident either during or after the procedure. Any eggs that are damaged in this way will not be used in the treatment.
Because ICSI is a fairly new treatment (it was introduced in 1992), it is not yet known whether there is any risk that injecting the sperm into an egg could damage it, with possible long-term consequences for the child.
The risks that have so far been associated with ICSI are:
For more information, and if you have any queries, speak to your consultant.
ICSI may be appropriate if you have: