ICSI is a revolutionary, effective process that has allowed thousands of couples to conceive. The technique allows couples with severe male factor infertility or couples that were not successful in previous IVF attempts to achieve fertilization.
It is performed as part of an IVF cycle where a single sperm is directly injected with a small needle into the centre of a mature egg. The sperm can be retrieved from the ejaculate or directly from the testicles or from the epididymis (surgical sperm retrieva). After a few days in the laboratory, the fertilized egg (now embryo) is transferred into the woman’s uterus.
Approximately 70% of eggs are fertilized using ICSI and pregnancy rates with a single baby, twins or triplets are comparable to those of standard IVF.
This successful procedure has some risks such as egg damage, genetic risks (largely associated with the underlying disease), and congenital abnormalities (see bottom page) in addition to multiple pregnancies and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
The Fertility Clinic offers both genetic testing and counselling to address these potential problems.
The success rate of ICSI can vary significantly and depends on age, type of medication and the presence of other fertility problems.
Sometimes, the egg can be damaged during the injection process.
Some healthy men with low sperm count of genetic origin can pass on to their sons the same genetic defect through ICSI.
Some studies have suggested that children born with ICSI have a slightly higher rate of congenital abnormalities.
For more information on The Fertility Clinic protocols, please take a look at our “Protocols and Procedures” in the “Patient Information” section.