ICSI - 3D Animation of How Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection Works

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a process by which a single sperm is injected directly into the egg to increase the chance of fertilization. Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection can be performed as part of the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process when the sperm cannot fertilize the egg naturally.

When do you need Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is ideal for men with infertility problems caused by very low sperm count, poor sperm motility, or poor sperm quality. ICSI is use when the sperm is not able to penetrate the egg or cannot fertilize the egg.

ICSI is an alternative option for men with sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction who are not able to achieve or maintain erection long enough to have sexual intercourse. Some men may experience problem with ejaculation or the ejaculation may contain little or no sperm in the semen.

If your partner undergo male sterilization which is the permanent method of birth control and surgical reversal may not be possible. If you decide to have biological children in future, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection may be the option for you.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection Process

There are several ways sperm are collected and used for egg fertilization as part of the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process. Men can collect semen in a cup from self ejaculation and provide to the clinic.

If men are not able to achieve erection and ejaculation or if there is no sperm present in the semen after ejaculation the doctor can perform different techniques to extract sperm from the testes.

Sperm can be extracted directly from the epididymis in a process known as percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA) that involve the use of small needle inserted into the scrotum to collect sperm from the epididymis.

Sperm can also be extracted directly from the testes in a process known as testicular sperm extraction (TESE) which involves the use of local anesthesia and surgical procedure to remove small amount of testicular tissues and extract few healthy sperm present in the tissues.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection Procedure

Since ICSI is performed as part of IVF treatment, the series of steps is similar to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) process which includes ovarian stimulation, egg retrieval, fertilization, and embryo transfer. ICSI is only used in the fertilization process when the sperm cannot fertilize the egg naturally.

Once the healthy sperm are collected from your male partner, the next step is to isolate a single sperm in the lab and injected directly into the egg. The egg is place in a culture dish and inspected after 48 hours to see if fertilization have taken place. If all goes well the embryo will be ready for transfer.

Usually the embryos are cultured for 3 days before been transfer back into your uterus and in some programs the embryos are cultured for 5 days before been transfer back into your uterus.

If you are over the age of 40, you can have maximum three embryos transfer to increase your chance of pregnancy. If you are younger, you can only have one or two embryos transfer in one cycle. After the embryos transfer you will need to wait 2 weeks before taking pregnancy test.

If the test is positive, your fertility specialist will monitor your pregnancy closely with occasion blood test and ultrasound to make sure all is going well and to increase your chance of successful pregnancy.

Return from ICSI to Conception

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