Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection general information. Infertility often comes as an unpleasant shattering of many dreams of parenthood. In-vitro fertilization is nothing short of a boon for many such couples looking to conceive their own child, but traditional IVF doesn’t always bring the best results. This is why ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection)IVF has emerged as a ray of hope for many infertile men.
What is (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) ICSI?
In the traditional method of conception, the sperm is ejaculated inside a woman via intercourse, where they swim towards the ovaries. The objective of the sperm is to attach itself with an egg and fertilize it, thus forming an embryo. Usually, only one sperm out of thousands succeed to do it.
However, due to a variety of issues, such normal fertilization might not occur. In-vitro fertilization is the go-to solution here, due to its high success rate and low risks. Here, thousands of sperms are placed near one or more eggs outside the woman’s body. That is, the fertilization process occurs in a lab. The fertilized embryo is then placed inside the female. But sometimes, even traditional IVF might not succeed as the sperm are unable to attach themselves to the egg. This is where ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) comes into the picture.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is a type of IVF procedure where the sperm is injected directly inside the female egg for fertilization. The injection is done with the help of tiny, hollow needles that pass a single sperm inside the egg.
Who needs ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection)?
While the primary reason behind ICSI(Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection)is infertility, there are many scenarios under which ICSI might be recommended to couples:
If the sperm count is very low or negligible
If the sperm have poor morphology or poor motility
If you have undergone IVF previously and saw failure.
If your semen had zero sperm and they had to be surgically extracted from your testicles
If you are using frozen sperm which were stored earlier and you cannot afford to have a failed cycle
It must be kept in mind that ICSI deals with the problems from the male side. If the eggs of the female are of poor quality, then ICSI is unlikely to help.
The procedure of Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
The first step of ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) is collecting the male sperm. In most cases, it is collected from the semen donated by the male. However, sometimes the semen might have no or very low sperm count. In such a case, sperm is extracted directly from the testicle or epididymis. In other cases, a frozen sperm could also be used for the same. At the same time, a matured egg is also collected from the female.
The entire procedure is done under a microscope. The primary equipment used is a very small needle-like micropipette. This pipette, which is long and hollow, collects a single sperm on one end. The tail of sperm is usually cut off since it doesn’t need its motility anymore. The needle pierces through the cytoplasm of the egg, and the sperm is injected directly inside it. This completes the procedure.
Afterwards, the egg is kept under observation for a couple of days till it fertilizes. Once it does, it is placed back inside the female for gestation.
Risks around ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection)
While ICSI is certainly an effective conception procedure, it is not without its risks. Following risks are possible in an ICSI(Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection):
Some eggs, usually less than 5 percent, could be damaged during the needle insertion.
There is less than 1 percent chance that chromosomal abnormalities could occur during the conception. It must be understood that chromosomal abnormality could occur even in natural conception, though the chances are much lower.
Abnormal sperms may be associated with abnormal chromosomes that may be associated with problems like higher chance of miscarriage, higher chances of learning issues in the child and higher chances of infertility during adulthood in the child.
Contrary to popular perception, ICSI(Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) doesn’t increase the chances of having twins or triplets. In fact, the chances are lower with ICSI than with natural conception.
Success and aftermath of Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
ICSI ((Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) has shown to have a very strong success rate in couples. In couples suffering from male infertility, ICSI has shown to have a success rate as high as 80 percent. This is virtually the same success rate as that of traditional IVF. This, it can be said that for couples with male infertility issue, ICSI is rapidly emerging as a successful IVF method.
After the ICSI procedure, the fertilized egg is placed within the woman for gestation. The remainder of the gestation period is the same as normal conception. The doctor would do regular checks to monitor the foetus growth, but that is standard in all pregnancies. Once the child is conceived, he/she will have the same growth and health as any other child.
Becoming a father is a beautiful dream for many men. Thanks to ICSI, infertility will no longer be able to shatter that dream for them.
SCI IVF Centre is a brand new, state-of-the-art IVF Centre located at Kailash Colony, South Delhi started in 2011. It provides comprehensive fertility services to both male and female patients as per the Government of India Guidelines and Policies. SCI IVF Centre is a unit of SCI Healthcare and is ISO 9001:2008 accredited.