Sperm Injection (ICSI)
What is ICSI?
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection or ICSI is a step ahead in the IVF treatment technique, where a single sperm is injected in the center of a single mature egg (oocyte) cytoplasm with a very ﬁne needle called a micropipette. ICSI has transformed male infertility in the past couple of years by helping men with poor-quality sperm, resulting in fatherhood.
Who needs ICSI?
We use ICSI in conjunction with an IVF cycle when we believe that fertilization is unlikely to occur using only conventional IVF. Most typically, ICSI is appropriate when there is a malefactor to your infertility. For example, we might recommend ICSI when:
- The sperm count is low
- There’s poor sperm motility (movement)
- There’s a high number of abnormal sperm
- The sperm has been collected surgically
- There are high levels of antibodies in the semen
- There have been previous unexplained failures to achieve fertilization in conventional IVF or when very few eggs have been fertilized following IVF
Sperm function tests have shown that the sperm would be unlikely to achieve fertilization, or embryo quality and implantation may be compromised.
After introductory consultation with our fertility experts, the process begins with stimulating the ovaries from Day 2 or Day 3 of the menstrual cycle. In this step, scanning of follicles is done, and daily HCG injections are given for 10-12 days to the female partner to grow the follicles. Next, our fertility expert monitors the development of the follicles in the ovary using ultrasound and blood investigations at regular intervals to control the size and quality of follicles.
Transvaginal Oocyte Retrieval
After 10-12 days of stimulation based on the growth, an injection (trigger) is given to assist in the final maturation of the eggs and loosen the egg from the walls of the follicle. After 34-36 hours of trigger injection, the egg retrieval process takes place with general anesthesia in the Zivia Fertility center IVF unit.
On the same day of egg retrieval, a fresh sperm sample is collected from the male partner following masturbation. If needed, sperm can be extracted from the testicles or epididymis using a separate procedure. The sperm sample is then processed, and the healthiest sperm is selected.
Once the eggs are retrieved, the fertilization process begins, where the mature eggs are placed in an incubator and fertilized with sperm within a couple of hours. In the ICSI process, embryologists select a single healthy sperm and inject it directly into the egg. Egg fertilization involves the observation of embryos until it reaches the blastocyst stage. Once the sperm fertilizes the egg, it becomes an embryo. Monitoring of the embryo is completed in 2 to 6 days.
After fertilization, the embryo development process starts. The Day 5-Day 6 stage from fertilization is called Blastocyst.
Once embryos are formed based on the quality and growth of the embryos, the best embryos are transferred into the uterus of a female partner using a small tube called a Catheter.
After the embryos are transferred into the uterus, our fertility experts prescribe medicine to enhance the chances of implantation. After the stipulated time, usually after the 14th day or 2 weeks, pregnancy tests are conducted by our fertility experts to check the result.