ICSI-IVF is a specific in vitro fertilization most popularly used to help males with infertility issues to have their beloved offspring. This combination is also most suited in cases of multiple failed fertilization attempts with conventional IVF or after egg freezing (oocyte preservation).
Some test procedures also use IVF-ICSI techniques such as preimplantation genetic testing or PGT testing. Most clinics use this as a regular practice for PGT testing. ICSI is pronounced as ick-see IVF, and it is a short form for intracytoplasmic sperm injection. In conventional IVF, multiple sperm are placed along with an egg, hoping that at least one of them will enter and fertilize the egg on its merit. However, in an ICSI-IVF combination, an embryologist will inject a carefully selected single sperm directly into an egg.
In some, ICSI is done in every IVF cycle, but others choose it in cases of severe male infertility or another medically indicated reason. ICSI-IVF combination has a high success rate, which has helped many couples realize their dream of having a child when they could not conceive using their eggs and sperm.
Why should you opt for IVF treatment with ICSI?
The top reason for ICSI-IVF is to achieve despite severe male infertility, including:
- Very low sperm count – Oligospermia
- Abnormally shaped sperm – Teratozoospermia
- Poor sperm movement – Asthenozoospermia
- If the male is producing sperm, but the ejaculate does not have any sperm, they may be retrieved through testicular sperm extraction or TESE. ICSI is used to extract sperm through TESE. This condition is seen in males after a vasectomy reversal or blocked vas deferens.
- Retrograde Ejaculation: ICSI also opts if the male is suffering from retrograde ejaculation. This is a condition where the sperm flows into the bladder rather than through the urethra, and in such cases, sperm is retrieved from the man’s urine using ICSI.
- Failures in earlier IVF cycles: In an IVF cycle, even if a good number of eggs and sperm counts look healthy, sometimes fertilization fails. The surgeon will recommend ICSI for the next cycle.
- Fertilization through frozen sperm: The frozen sperm is thawed, but if they are not especially active, ICSI-IVF may be recommended.
- Frozen oocytes for pregnancy: The vitrification of eggs may harden the egg’s shell. If the eggshell is hard, it becomes difficult for sperm to penetrate naturally, so IVF with ICSI may help overcome this hurdle.
- PGD – preimplantation genetic diagnosis: PGD allows for the genetic screening of embryos. In the regular fertilization techniques, sperm cells that have not fertilized the egg will “hang around” the embryo and may interfere with accurate PGD results. Hence, ICSI helps with accurate results.
- Antibodies in the sperm: If antibodies are present in the sperm, they may damage the sperm and prevent egg fertilization.
- It may also be performed if frozen sperm is used for the IVF cycle.
ICSI-IVF procedure in a nutshell
ICSI is a part of IVF, hence done in a lab. Almost all the steps are similar to a conventional IVF, i.e. one will take ovarian stimulating drugs. After enough good-sized follicles have grown, eggs are retrieved with a specialized, ultrasound-guided needle.
Sperm is concerned with the male, and it could be the partner’s sperm or a sperm donor or previously frozen sperm. The retrieved eggs are placed in a special culture, and using a microscope and a tiny needle, a single sperm will be injected into an egg. Each retrieved egg goes through this process.
After successful fertilization, which means healthy embryos have been produced, an embryo or two will be transferred to your uterus, via a catheter placed through the cervix, two to five days after the retrieval.
Success Rate of IVF treatment with ICSI
The ICSI procedure can fertilize up to 50 to 80 per cent of eggs. All fertilizations do not lead to clinical pregnancy or live birth rates. Once fertilization occurs, the chances of live birth are the same for a couple using ICSI with IVF or regular IVF treatment.
Pregnancy occurs only when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining and develops into a fetus. So at this stage, the success rate with or without ICSI is the same. The chances of fertilization are higher because the sperm is directly injected into the egg.
We at ZIVA clinics are highly specialized, with success rates in IVF and ICSI. Apart from treating male infertility cases, we also employ this technique for the above-mentioned conditions in the blog. We understand that the journey towards pregnancy from infertility is long and has emotional and financial implications. Hence, we also offer counselling services for couples to help them understand their cause of infertility much better and be your partner throughout the journey. Please visit our website https://zivafertility.com/ or contact us at +91-9100002737, +91-9392834024, or Info@zivafertility.com.