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.
The availability of ICSI has made it possible for men who previously would have been thought of as impotent because their sperm were too weak or too few to impregnate their wives through in vitro fertilization. This is no different from regular IVF with normal sperm. This technique is very cost-effective, and will give you the same high chance for getting pregnant as any couple with normal sperm. In fact, we perform ICSI at no extra charge for all of our IVF cycles to obtain better fertilization rates and better results even when the husband’s sperm count is not impaired. Often, a single, almost non-moving sperm can be retrieved and injected into a woman’s egg, developing into a healthy embryo and a completely normal baby. So far, over 100,000 babies have been born with this technique, and the babies have grown up to be physically, mentally, and genetically normal, no matter how poor original sperm samples were.
In some cases, we can even perform a testicle biopsy, remove a few sperm and, using a highly refined ultra-micropipette, inject it into an egg for a successful ICSI.
ICSI is a very effective procedure used in conjunction with IVF. This is why at New Hope Fertility Center ICSI is considered a standard practice of care during IVF. Typically, between 75 and 85 percent of eggs injected with sperm become embryos. Those embryos may then be transferred directly into the mother or stored for use during a future Frozen Embryo Transfer cycle.
ICSI can be used for a variety of reasons including:
Dr. John Zhang can increase your chances of pregnancy through IVF using the medical technique of ICSI. Schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Zhang by calling 917.525.5496.