What Is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)?

What Is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)?

Popular fertility treatment

While the name might sound a little bit scary, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is actually a popular and groundbreaking treatment method for male fertility problems. ICSI was introduced in 1992, and quickly has become a popular fertility treatment method for male infertility. Doctors estimate that around 25,000 babies are born via ICSI every year in the USA. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

What is ICSI?

ICSI is used to treat male infertility, specifically in cases where there is a low sperm count, poor sperm motility, a damaged vas deferens, or a vasectomy that can not be reversed. ICSI is where a single sperm is injected into a single egg. Then, the fertilized egg is placed inside the woman’s Fallopian tube.

How Does ICSI Work?

If the sperm can not be collected through masturbation, they will be removed from the testicles via a small incision. The woman’s mature egg will be retrieved, and then a single sperm will be deposited onto the egg. The eggs are incubated to ensure fertilization, and the ones that have been successfully fertilized will be placed in the uterus via a catheter. Usually, two to four embryos will be implanted, and the rest can be frozen for later use. With a little luck, the embryo will implant in the uterine wall, and grow into a baby! Simple as that!

Success Rates and Things To Know

The average couple will have around a 35 percent chance of conceiving with each round of ICSI, and around a 28 percent chance of having a baby. ICSI is a wonderful choice for couples who are having male-factor fertility issues. There is also a greater chance of success because the sperm and egg are fertilized inside the lab, with help from a doctor. Something else to remember about ICSI is that it can be expensive, and is often not covered by insurance. The cost of one cycle of ICSI ranges anywhere from $10k to $17k.

Negatives of ICSI

The risks of ICSI are similar to the risks associated with IVF. Women can experience hyper stimulation of the ovaries due to the hormones that they are given prior to egg retrieval. Severe ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome is very rare, only affecting around 2% of all women who go through IVF, but it can be very serious. Also, there is a risk of having twins or multiples when you undergo ICSI.

Of course, this is not a negative, but can be considered a high risk pregnancy for both mother and baby. Some doctors also think that ICSI can increase the risk of birth defects as well. Make sure to talk with your doctor at length about the risks of ICSI before beginning treatment.

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Dr. Christine Lee, MD
Dr. Christine Lee, MD | ConceiveEasy
Dr. Christine Lee earned her Ph.D. in Developmental Biology and Master of Science in Biomolecular Organization. Dr. Lee is Lab Director for ConceiveEasy and is board certified as a High Complexity Laboratory Director (HCLD).