When fertilization happens, the head of the sperm must attach to the outside wall of the egg. Once it sticks, the sperm pushes through the outer layer to the within of the egg (cytoplasm), where fertilization takes place.
Sometimes the sperm cannot penetrate the outer layer for several reasons. The outer layer may be thick that is hard for the sperm to penetrate, the sperm may be unable to swim. In these cases, a procedure called Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can be done along with in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help fertilization with the egg. During ICSI, one sperm is injected directly into the cytoplasm of the egg.
ICSI is a part of IVF. Since ICSI takes place in the lab, your IVF treatment will not seem much different than an IVF treatment without ICSI.
As with regular IVF, the female partner will take ovarian stimulating drugs, and your doctor will monitor your progress with blood tests and ultrasounds. Once the female has grown enough good-sized follicles, she will have egg retrieval, where egg removal from your ovaries with a special ultrasound-guided needle.
Your male partner will provide their sperm sample that same day (unless using a sperm donor or previously frozen sperm.)
There are two ways that an egg may fertilize by IVF: Traditional and ICSI. In Traditional IVF, 50,000 or more swimming sperm are placed next to the egg during a laboratory dish. Fertilization occurs when one among the sperm enters into the cytoplasm of the egg. In the ICSI process, a tiny needle micropipette injects a single sperm into the egg. With either traditional IVF or ICSI, once fertilization occurs, the embryo grows in a laboratory for 1 to 5 days before it gets transferred to the woman’s uterus (womb).
In addition to these, there could be some chromosomal or hormonal disorders or if a man has undergone surgical sterilization in the form of vasectomy.
If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, consulting a healthcare professional will help better delineate the underlying cause and decide the right mode of treatment or procedure. Once the cause is identified, the doctor could recommend a certain procedure. There are various procedures to treat male infertility.
ICSI fertilizes 50% to 80% of eggs. The success rate of IVF and ICSI is the same. Not all eggs get fertilized with ICSI-IVF. Fertilization isn’t guaranteed even when a sperm injected into the egg.
Remember that fertilization rates don’t tell you the clinical pregnancy or birth rates. The ICSI process may give rise to the following problems:
Some or all of the eggs could also be damaged.
The egg might not grow into an embryo even after injected with sperm.
The embryo may stop growing.
Once fertilization happens, a couple’s chance of giving birth to a single baby, twins, or triplets is the same if they have IVF with or without ICSI.
If a woman gets pregnant naturally, there is a 1.5% to 3% chance that the baby will have defects. The defect associated with ICSI is similar to IVF but slightly higher than in natural conception.
The slightly higher risk of defects may be due to infertility and not the treatments used to overcome infertility.
Certain conditions have associated with the use of ICSI, such as Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, Angelman syndrome, hypospadias, or sex chromosome abnormalities. They occur in far less than 1% of children conceived using this technique.
Some of the issues that cause infertility could also be genetic. For example, male children conceived with the utilization of ICSI may have equivalent infertility issues as their fathers.
Our expert fertility consultants at GarbhaGudi IVF Centre will advise you on the best fertility treatment for your needs, based on fertility investigations as required. We have world-class success results for IVF and ICSI at affordable costs.