In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one of the most common ways to treat infertility. In some cases of infertility, a woman’s egg production isn’t optimal. In others, sperm cannot fertilize an egg for various reasons. With IVF, your doctor may be able to get around these issues and still help you have a baby. However, there are many other factors involved in fertility. If you try to conceive but don’t succeed after six months or more of trying, you may need the assistance of a specialist for further diagnostic tests and treatments. An expert in reproductive medicine can help you with the various steps to take if you think you might have trouble conceiving and getting pregnant on your own — such as through IVF or another assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedure. Unfortunately, many people don’t know what ICSI means or what it can do for them in their journey towards parenthood. Keep reading to learn more about ICSI and other ART procedures so that you can make informed decisions that are right for you…
What is ICSI?
ICSI stands for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. It’s a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that’s used when a man has very low sperm counts or very poor quality sperm. ICSI is a method of fertilizing an egg with a single sperm. The sperm is injected directly into the egg, instead of combining the sperm with a woman’s vaginal fluids or her partner’s fluids. This is a newer procedure that has been available since the late 1980s. Before this, a majority of the time, doctors would use a process called IUI (intrauterine insemination). This is a procedure in which sperm is placed inside a woman’s uterus near her eggs.
How Does ICSI Work?
ICSI can help men with poor sperm quality or low sperm counts (low sperm motility and/or low sperm viability) to have children. The sperm is removed from the man’s testicles, and a single sperm cell is removed from the sample. Next, a very small amount of fluid is taken from the woman’s ovary to get her eggs. The single sperm cell is placed directly into the fluid where the woman’s eggs are, and then the fluid and sperm are put back into the woman’s body. The doctor does this using a microscope and special tools. The fluid around the cells must be at the right temperature.
Why Might You Need ICSI?
If you have very low sperm counts or a very poor sperm quality, you may need ICSI. If you have a low sperm count, you may have to have ICSI in combination with IVF. This is because a low sperm count can lead to a lower number of eggs being mature and ready to fertilize. In some cases, men with very poor sperm quality may need ICSI and IVF. This might be because the man’s sperm might not be able to fertilize any eggs at all.
Pros of Using ICSI to Conceive
– You can try to conceive without having to undergo hormone treatment. – You may have a higher chance of success, since sperm numbers aren’t affected by a woman’s hormones. – You have a virtually 100% chance of having a baby with a specific parent, since there’s no question about whose sperm is used.
Cons of Using ICSI Conclusion
All of these benefits come at a cost. Because only one sperm is used, the procedure is more expensive than other forms of ART. The ICSI procedure also carries a slightly higher risk of complications. To minimize these risks, you’ll need to meet with your doctor to receive careful monitoring and instructions on how to prepare for the procedure and what to expect after the ICSI procedure. And while ICSI may be beneficial for some people, you should be aware that it doesn’t work for everyone. ICSI does not solve infertility issues related to a man’s genes. If you have a genetic condition that you want to avoid passing on, ICSI isn’t a good choice for you.