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Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injections (ICSI)

As the issue of infertility is now being spoken about more often, several treatments are being invented to address the issues.

IVF is the most widely known fertility treatment, but there are other suitable options, and ICSI is one of them. ICSI is also referred to as ICSI IVF as it is not entirely detached from the IVF process. It adds a few steps to the IVF process, and it’s a modified form of IVF.

ICSI is generally used as a part of an IVF cycle but not from the very beginning. If the first IVF process doesn’t have any results, ICSI is added to the second cycle. It is one of the most successful artificial treatment methods.

What is ICSI?

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI is a process in which a single sperm is directly injected into the egg.  Before fertilizing an egg, the sperm has to push through the egg’s outer layer. Due to several reasons, such as the egg’s outer layer being hard or poor quality of the sperm, the sperm fails to fertilize the egg. In these cases, ICSI is used to fertilize the egg by directly injecting the sperm into the egg.

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Why recommended?

  1. Lack of fertilized eggs during prior IVF cycles: – It can happen that in the previous IVF cycles, eggs didn’t fertilize; ICSI can be a savior in this condition.
  2. Use of frozen oocytes: – As we all know, some women choose to freeze their eggs to use them for later pregnancy; this is called egg vitrification. In this case, the egg’s outer layer becomes harder to penetrate. ICSI can be of great use in this situation.
  3. Unexplained infertility: – In such cases where the cause of infertility is unknown, ICSI can be a suitable match for you.
  4. Male factor infertility: – Male factor infertility, such as abnormalities in sperm quality, and ejaculation issues, can be solved.

The procedure

  1. Ovarian stimulation: – As the first step, medications are given to stimulate the eggs to produce mature eggs that can be used for fertilization.
  2. Egg retrieval: – Once the eggs are produced, they are taken out of the female body by inserting a thin & hollow tube with a needle on top to pull out the eggs.
  3. Sperm selection: – In this process, the healthier sperms are selected for fertilization.
  4. Insemination: – As the next step, the sperm is injected into the egg and stored in a container until fertilization occurs.

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Success rate

The success rate of the ICSI procedure is up to 80 to 85%. But it should also be kept in mind that no fertility procedure claims 100% success rates as other factors contribute to infertility.

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Benefits

  1. The process of ICSI has high success rates compared to other fertility treatments.
  2. ICSI works great for male factor infertility such as poor sperm quality, ejaculation issues, etc. As the sperm are well examined, and healthy sperm is chosen, the abnormalities of the sperm are eliminated.

Risk & side effect

  1. Embryo damage: – Not all fertilized eggs can develop into healthy embryos; there are chances that they’ll get damaged.
  2. Multiple pregnancies: – The process of IVF with ICSI can increase the chances of multiple pregnancies that come with several health problems for the mother and the child, such as premature birth, early labor, miscarriage, etc.
  3. Birth defects:– There are increased chances of birth defects in the process of ICSI. But it’s rare.

The risk factors mentioned above are potential risk factors; it is always wise to consult with your doctor and follow up with the procedure.

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