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.
Many of my IVF patients procrastinate on making healthy lifestyle changes before treatment. If you are contemplating IVF treatment, you must begin healthy lifestyle habits at least six months before you begin the process to prepare your body for pregnancy. Don’t wait until you are pregnant to get serious about a healthy lifestyle. Good lifestyle choices will greatly boost your fertility and help you have a healthy baby.
A successful IVF is greatly supplemented by a patient’s reliable fertility diet and healthy body mass index. I always offer my patients helpful resources by recommending they avoid detrimental lifestyle choices.
This is true regardless of your chosen IVF protocol.
Without a doubt, beginning acupuncture treatment three months before your IVF transfer will enhance your chances of a successful pregnancy. Studies have shown that women who underwent acupuncture before, during and after IVF embryo transfer increased their chances of pregnancy by up to 42 percent. Why is this important? The pregnancy success rate of those who did not undergo acupuncture was only 26 percent.
In-House Acupuncture Therapy and IVF
These phenomenal IVF success rates are why New Hope Fertility NYC unveiled its in-house acupuncture therapy treatment program in July of 2017! Our acupuncturists are specially trained in acupuncture therapy with a focus on treating women’s infertility. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institutes for Health have found that acupuncture is a viable and accepted method of treating female infertility.
The IVF Embryo Transfer Acupuncture Plan
Acupuncture can begin at any time during your fertility treatment – but this is the best plan of action:
During infertility treatment, you will commonly be confronted with unfamiliar acronyms and terms describing your diagnosis and treatment plan. These acronyms and terms may be confusing and can make understanding your diagnosis and treatment challenging. Dr. John Zhang has compiled a list of acronyms and definitions of terms you should familiarize yourself with as you begin your infertility treatment.
Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is one of the primary indicators of a woman’s egg reserve. The AMH hormone produces egg follicles in a woman’s ovaries. The lower a woman’s level of AMH, the lower the number of eggs she has remaining. A woman’s ovarian reserve is one of the primary measurements of her fertility.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is one of the primary hormones evaluated as a part of the fertility diagnostic process. FSH is responsible for stimulating ovarian follicles to mature during a woman’s cycle. FSH levels that are outside of normal levels are generally evidence of a low ovarian supply.Read more: Increase Your IVF Vocabulary: Infertility Treatment Terms
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.
The most common treatment for infertility is Conventional IVF (in vitro fertilization). Thanks to innovative IVF ancillary technologies – such as ICSI and PGD/PGS/NGS – Conventional IVF is very successful for the right candidate.
Typical candidates for Conventional IVF:
Conventional IVF is recommended for women who have failed to achieve a pregnancy after undergoing a series of IUI.
Varied IVF protocols available today:
Fertility medication is an integral and vital part of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment. Medication is used to delay the start of a cycle, spur the growth of eggs, and trigger ovulation. In order for an IVF treatment cycle to have the best chance at pregnancy success, it is important that all prescribed fertility medication be taken at the time and dose indicated by your fertility care tam. Failing to do so can result in the IVF cycle being unsuccessful.
Finding the time and place to administer fertility medication can take some maneuvering and coordination.
This is true regardless of your chosen IVF protocol – traditional or holistic.
· Mini IVF
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
Embryology is key to pregnancy success through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) technology because it is the study of an embryo from the first stage of fertilization through fetal development. High quality embryos have the highest chance of implantation into a woman’s uterine lining resulting in a successful pregnancy. After egg retrieval, one or two healthy embryos are transferred after a fresh IVF cycle. Excess embryos culturing in vitro are cryopreserved for future pregnancies through Frozen Embryo Transfers (FET).
I wanted to share a recent trip I took for a meeting in Dubai. I was giving a lecture on our recent success producing the world’s first baby from 3-parent IVF and our advancements to OOCYTE and EMBRYO CRYOPRESERVATION (egg freezing) using VITRIFICATION. While there, however, a nice detour led me to the Camel Research Center in Dubai.Read more: AT THE TOP OF the IVF ‘GAME’
In continuing to post about some of my unique and interesting cases, this article will address my standard practice of care in the treatment of patients who are suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) after undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF).