Intracytoplasmic Sperm Insertion

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Insertion

ICSI or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Insertion has allowed fertility to happen even with the sperm from men who suffer from the most severe degrees of male infertility. Also, the pregnancy rates in the Intracytoplasmic Sperm Insertion are as high as those in conventional IVF procedures that are performed in cases of non-male-factor infertility. Additionally, ICSI can be used as part of an In Vitro Fertilization treatment to assist you and your partner to conceive a child when conventional IVF does not work for you.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Insertion requires only one sperm and this is injected directly into the egg. Once the egg is fertilized and turns into an embryo, it is then transferred to your uterus.


The first step of the Intracytoplasmic Sperm Insertion is similar to the standard IVF treatment; you will be required to take fertility drugs that will stimulate your ovaries and allow them to produce several mature eggs that are ready for fertilization. Once your eggs are ready for retrieval, you and your partner will undergo different procedures.

Your spouse will provide a sperm sample on the same day as your eggs are obtained. If sperm is not present in the semen, the doctor or healthcare specialist can extract this with the use of a fine needle. The sperm can be taken from either the epididymis in a procedure called Percutaneous Epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA) or from the testicle in a procedure called Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA). If the sperm obtained through these techniques are still not enough, the doctor will try the Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) or micro-TESE if the surgery will be performed with a microscope. In this procedure, he or she will perform a biopsy of testicular tissues which may have sperm attached to it.

Occasionally, TESE is carried out under local anesthetic before beginning the treatment cycle and the acquired sperm will be frozen; your spouse may experience mild pain and discomfort which can be treated with painkillers. After you receive a local anesthetic, the doctor will remove your eggs using a fine, hollow needle; to locate your eggs, your doctor will make use of an ultrasound to make the job much easier. After, the embryologist will isolate individual sperm in the lab to directly inject these one by one into your individual eggs. In two days, the fertilized eggs will turn into embryos.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Insertion also follows the same procedure in IVF; one or two embryos will be implanted into your uterus by inserting a thin catheter through your cervix. If you are younger than 40 years old, one or two embryos can be moved to your uterus; however, if you are 40 and above, a total of three embryos can be implanted into your uterus, or two if the eggs will be coming from a donor. If there will be excess embryos, these may be preserved by freezing in case the IVF cycle is unsuccessful. The embryos may be transferred in two, three, or five days after fertilization then after, the embryo will be at the blastocyst stage after five days. If you will only have a single embryo implanted, the process is called elective single embryo transfer, or eSET; furthermore, having a blastocyst transfer can increase your chances in a successful, healthy, single baby.

If everything turns out successfully, an embryo will attach itself to your uterus’ wall and will proceed to develop into a baby. In around two weeks, you will be asked to take a pregnancy test.

What are the Advantages of ICSI

• If other fertility treatment options do not work for you and your spouse, ICSI may give you a chance to conceive your biological child.
• ICSI can also be used to assist couples with unexplained infertility; however, experts have not found if ICSI has a higher success rate than the standard IVF procedure.
• ICSI does not appear to affect the child’s physical or mental development.

What are the Disadvantages of ICSI

• ICSI costs higher than IVF
• ICSI also has the same risks as IVF; these include ectopic pregnancy and multiple births
• There is a higher risk of your baby suffering from congenital conditions such as cerebral palsy; for naturally conceived children, the risk of congenital conditions rises from three percent while for IVF or ICSI, it rises to six percent. A large study also states that the rate of abnormalities in children is higher in ICSI compared to IVF; however, the risk is still low.

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