Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Is performed as an additional part of an IVF treatment cycle. This is where a single sperm is injected into each egg to assist in the fertilisation using very fine micro-manipulation equipment. While it does sound simple, ICSI is one of the most technically challenging procedures.

Together with IVF, ICSI is one of the most common techniques used. Since its introduction, it has led to an increase of childbirth rates worldwide that otherwise might not have been conceived.

This procedure is used mainly to overcome the case of male infertility, whether it is such things as low sperm count, low sperm morphology, anti-sperm antibodies or have previously had a vasectomy or unsuccessful reverse vasectomy reversal.

When it comes to choosing the right sperm,

It is the healthiest sperm cells that tend to have a particular shape and size, particularly an oval head and a long tail. Because infertile men often make fewer sperm like this, sperm selection for ICSI is essential. The next consideration in the selection is the sperm’s motility – the sperm cell’s ability to move around and penetrate the egg. If a sperm cell has a tail that is curly or doubled up, they aren’t considered strong or efficient when it comes to swimming.

It is the most “normal” looking and vigorous sperm that is selected and immobilised by squishing their tails with a glass injection needle. Once these sperm are sucked into the needle tail-first, they are ready to be injected.

In other words, we are doing all the work for the sperm, as there is no swimming or penetration of the egg involved. All the sperm has to do is make the “spark” of fertilisation to happen. Once the procedures that were required are completed, the egg is placed into an incubator and checked the following day for any sign of fertilisation.

If this is a procedure and process that feels right to you, get in touch with us today for more information.