Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) involves injecting a single sperm directly into an egg to fertilise it.
Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a type of IVF treatment that involves the injection of a single sperm straight into each egg. The fertilised egg (embryo) can then be transferred into the womb of the woman as in a normal IVF cycle.
"Thank you so much Complete Fertility for all of your help with my beautiful, ICSI miracle baby boy, Harry.
We're happy and my family is now complete. The staff at Complete are amazing and I will never forget the passion and understanding they showed me." – Vicky
ICSI is similar to conventional IVF in that eggs and sperm are collected from each partner. To achieve fertilisation, a single sperm is taken up in a fine glass needle and is injected directly into an egg. The eggs are incubated and examined the following day for fertilisation. Embryos may then be transferred back into the womb of the woman two to five days after fertilisation as in conventional IVF.
Not all eggs collected will be of a high enough quality or mature enough to be suitable for injection. Also, some eggs may not survive the injection process.
In conventional IVF the eggs and the sperm are mixed together in a dish and the sperm fertilise the eggs naturally. ICSI is used when sperm are unlikely to fertilise the egg naturally. It bypasses the natural processes involved in a sperm penetrating an egg. ICSI may be used in the following cases:
When the sperm count is very low
When the sperm cannot move properly
When the sperm have high rates of abnormality
When sperm has been retrieved directly from the epididymis (PESA) or the testicles (TESA), from the urine, or by electroejaculation
When there are high levels of antibodies in the semen
When fertilisation has failed in previous IVF treatment
When sperm has been frozen
Men who have very few sperm (oligospermia) or no sperm (azoospermia) in their semen, or who have high numbers of abnormal sperm that are unable to fertilise an egg, would previously have had little or no chance of fathering their own genetic offspring. ICSI offers such men and their partners real hope of having their own genetic child.