Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI treatment ) is an advanced technique used in vitro fertilization (IVF). It refers to the procedure injecting a single sperm directly into a human egg cytoplasm. It is used for raising the chances of success of IVF. According to IVF doctor,it is especially helpful to couples who have failed to conceive in the previous In Vitro fertilization cycle. It is also used in case the male infertility is causing the problem in conception.
When a couple fails to conceive even after 1 year of trying,the reasons could be either male or female infertility. Male infertility occurs due to the following reasons:
- Low sperm count or poor sperm quality which renders it unable to penetrate or fertilize the egg
- men who have undergone testicular biopsy or epididymal biopsy
- Anatomical abnormality like a blockage in the male’s reproductive tract which inhibits the production or ejaculation of sperm.
- Circumstances which require ICSI treatment
- ICSI may be used in conditions when there is
- Oligospermia or very low sperm count
- Asthenozoospermia or poor sperm motility
- Teratozoospermia or abnormally shaped sperm
- Azoospermia or poor sperm quality. It may be due to vasectomy the absence of the vas deferens by birth. It may also be caused due to an injury.
- In case a man is producing sperm but unable to ejaculate, sperm retrieval may be done through TESE(testicular sperm extraction).
It can be performed also when the man is suffering from Retrograde ejaculation (a condition in which the sperm goes back to the body instead of getting ejaculated).
Other conditions where ICSI can be used:
- Frozen sperm is being used and the sperm seems to be inactive.
- The couple is using the technique of PGD (preimplantation genetic diagnosis).
- The couple faced the failure of fertilization even though there were plenty of eggs and the sperm was healthy.
- Sometimes, while using frozen oocytes, the eggshells harden. In such cases, ICSI is recommended.
- In case the IVM (in vitro maturation) technique is being used, ICSI is more effective. IVM refers to the retrieval of eggs before maturity.
Procedure for ICSI treatment
The procedure involves the following steps-
The transvaginal oocyte retrieval procedure is used to retrieve oocytes from the woman
The sperm is retrieved from the male partner on the day the eggs are retrieved.
The egg is stabilized by using suction through a micro injector.
The sperm is immobilized by using a sharp, delicate, and a hollow needle. The tail of the sperm is cut followed by gently picking it up.
It is followed by injecting the sperm into the cytoplasm directly with the help of the needle. The needle is removed carefully after injecting it.
The oocyte is stabilized by positioning it at 12 or 6 o’clock position.
It is followed by the placement of the egg into the cell culture. The egg is checked for signs of fertilization the next day.
Upon the successful completion of the procedure, the embryo is placed into the woman’s uterus. If all goes well, the woman is told to undergo pregnancy confirmation tests.