Male reproductive issues are just as likely to cause a couple’s infertility as female issues. Male fertility issues include low sperm count, the absence of sperm, issues with sperm movement, and abnormal sperm shape. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a cutting edge medical technique used in conjunction with IVF to increase the chances of a sperm fertilizing an egg. ICSI is a form of micromanipulation that involves the injection of a single sperm directly into the cytoplasm of a mature egg (oocyte) using a glass needle (pipette). If there is any problem with a sperm’s ability to fertilize the egg (either due to low sperm count or poor sperm quality) ICSI is the most common and accurate method for solving it. Our colleagues were part of the original Belgian team that developed ICSI, and who first introduced it in the U.S. Eggs are retrieved in the same way as if you were doing conventional IVF, however, the eggs and the sperm are then fertilized in the laboratory, by direct injection of a single sperm into each egg. Two to five days later the resulting embryos are placed into the uterus (without surgery), just as with IVF procedures and any other embryos can be frozen for later using our method of vitrification.
In order to fertilize an egg, sperm must be able to penetrate the egg. This is a problem if there are a low number of sperm, if sperm are abnormally shaped, or if the sperm is not motile enough to reach and penetrate into the egg.
ICSI addresses all of these issues.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is an innovative method of fertilizing eggs in conjunction with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). By using ICSI in conjunction with IVF, we can greatly increase the chances of achieving a healthy embryo and a successful pregnancy.
ICSI is an in vitro (laboratory) procedure that involves injecting a single sperm directly into an egg for fertilization. This is a great option for men who would otherwise be considered infertile due to low sperm count, low motility, or other fertility complications.
The sperm can be removed directly from the man’s fresh ejaculate that has been washed and prepared in the laboratory. Once a single sperm has been immobilized, it is retrieved into a micropipette and then injected directly into an egg.
ICSI boasts a very high success rate and has no harmful effect on the resulting embryos. In fact, over 100,000 babies have been born this way.
ICSI is not just for men who are infertile. At New Hope Fertility Center, ICSI is used as a standard ancillary procedure to IVF because it results in higher fertilization rates of the eggs. Higher quality egg fertilization rates results in more high quality embryos.
For men that do not have enough sperm in their ejaculate, we can still extract the sperm needed to fertilize the eggs through other methods:
Using testicular sperm for IVF has virtually the same success rates for fertilization as using ejaculated sperm. The only drawback is that testicular sperm does not freeze as well for future use. It is more practical to fertilize eggs with the testicular extracted sperm and freeze the resulting embryos.
Dr. Zhang is a highly trained fertility specialist and can answer any questions you may have about the process of ICSI in conjunction with IVF. Here at the New Hope Fertility Center, we offer ICSI to all of our IVF patients at no extra charge. Dr. Zhang will work with you and your partner to design a customized IVF protocol that is most appropriate to your medical history and personal preferences. Call us at 917.525.5496 to schedule your first consultation. We look forward to helping you conceive.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a method of addressing male-factor infertility during In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment. Rather than allowing fertilization to happen by combining eggs and sperm in a lab dish, ICSI entails the injection of a single sperm directly into an egg in order to facilitate fertilization. Knowing more about the ICSI process, and its effectiveness, can help you decide if this ancillary treatment in conjunction with IVF is an option for you.
In order to be considered fertile, a man’s sperm must:
Should any of these functions be diagnosed as abnormal, a man may not be able to impregnate a woman because his sperm cannot penetrate her egg. A man may be infertile even if he produces adequate quantities of sperm in ejaculate. Should his sperm be misshaped or not move correctly, fertilization will be difficult, if not impossible.Read more: How ICSI Enhances IVF Pregnancy Success