Infertility can be as a result of either the man or the woman not being able to reproduce. There can be several causes for this in either gender. One such problem can occur with the sperm in the male. There can be a solution for this, and it is called ICSI which stands for Intracytoplasmic sperm injection. It sounds kind of scary but in fact it is not that difficult of a procedure and one that can be quite successful in helping a couple conceive.
What is ICSI?
This is a procedure where a single sperm collected from the male is injected into a mature egg from the woman. Once the egg has been fertilized in this manner the egg is then carefully placed in the woman’s uterus.
What is the Objective of ICSI?
The main goal of the ICSI procedure is to help scale up the success of the fertilization phase that takes place with In Vitro Fertilization.
The Male’s Preparation for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
First, the sperm from the male has to be obtained. This can either be done by the man masturbating to eject the sperm, or if this is not possible then a surgical procedure is conducted. This entails removing some of the sperm from a testicle after a small incision has been made to access it. Sometimes this procedure is necessary because the male has a blockage that prevents ejaculation of the sperm. If it has been detected that the male may only have minimal sperm in the semen it may be recommended that they go through a genetic screening before proceeding with the ICSI procedure.
The Woman’s Preparation for ICSI
The eggs from the female will need to be collected. In order to prepare for this the woman must receive a daily injection that can either be FSH or gonadotrophin. This is so the ovaries can be stimulated into producing multiple eggs. To ensure that everything is progressing as expected, tests will be conducted after the first week to see where the estrogen levels are at.
Also, an ultrasound will be done to determine if the eggs in the follicles are maturing. If all is going as expected then an HCG injection is given to encourage the fully developed eggs to mature. Within a 34 to 36 hour period following this injection the now mature eggs are collected through a needle aspiration. Or, if necessary through a surgical procedure called a laparoscopy.
A small glass tube is the vessel that is used to put one single sperm into with each collected egg. This egg now containing the sperm will be housed in a lab overnight. The next day the eggs are inspected to see if they have fertilized. There is then a 3 to 5 day incubation period for the eggs that fertilized successfully.
From this collection of fertilized eggs that have developed further, at least one or more is then placed into the uterus by a catheter being inserted into the cervix. It may be suggested that the rest of the embryos be frozen so they can be used in the future.
Pacific Reproductive Center offers top assisted reproduction treatments including ICSI, IVF, genetic selection and more! Call us today for a consultation at any one of our four LA metro area locations.