In simple words, ICSI is a procedure that involves collecting million or more sperms to inseminate into a single egg for fertilization. However in Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), a single sperm is injected into a single egg with the help of an instrument called the micromanipulator. Infertile couples with severe male factor infertility (poor sperm count, motility, or morphology) can restore their hopes of parenthood with Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection. Now, men with the problem azoospermia or with no sperm in their ejaculate, can also father a biological child. ICSI is a safe, high-tech yet simple procedure that has good success rates all across the world.
The woman goes through a typical ovarian stimulation protocol during which the Doctor prescribes fertility drugs to support the procedure. These drugs support the production of multiple eggs. The embryologist surgically extracts these eggs (this phase is called oocyte retrieval).
For ICSI, the Doctor can extract the sperms from the ejaculate. If it is not possible to obtain sperms by this method, Doctors choose to perform a small surgical procedure to recover sperms from the testes. Usually a local or general anaesthesia is ideal for these procedures.
Sperm obtained by ejaculation, or through MESA, PESA, TESE must be processed well before the ICSI procedure is carried out. The selected sperm is then injected into the mature eggs retrieved from the woman, checked for fertilization, allowed to grow in the lab for about 72 hours and after that, selected embryos are transferred into the uterus. Sperms may also be retrieved ahead of time and frozen for future use.
Generally, fertilization rates and pregnancy rates are higher in ICSI procedure compared to the conventional IVF procedures. Pregnancy and delivery should proceed normally if the female partner follows the guidance of the physician that she is consulting. There are no complications in terms of abortions, congenital abnormalities or pregnancy complications resulting because of the ICSI procedure.
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