Improve Your Chances with ICSI
The talented and highly trained doctors at The Fertility Institute use a number of methods to help women faced with fertility issues conceive. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), performed at our New Orleans practice, may be combined with in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help give you and your partner the very best chance of conceiving. ICSI, which involves injecting a single sperm into a single egg, is an advanced technique that may be recommended to help patients conceive in spite of conditions like male infertility. To learn more about your candidacy and the ICSI procedure, schedule a consultation with one of our specialists today.
To understand how ICSI works, it is important to first understand the IVF process. The first step of IVF involves retrieving the woman's eggs and the male's sperm. In most cases, the semen sample is collected through manual stimulation, but sperm can also be surgically collected through a small incision in the testicle.
Prior to the egg retrieval procedure, a woman will need to receive daily hormone injections to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. This condition is known as superovulation. A second round of injections will prompt the ovary follicles to fully develop, allowing the doctor to use laparoscopy or needle aspiration to retrieve the mature eggs.
During a traditional IVF procedure, the eggs are combined with the sperm in a laboratory dish, allowing the sperm to penetrate the eggs as they would during natural conception. What sets ICSI apart is the way the eggs and sperm interact once they have been retrieved.
What is ICSI?
As its name implies, ICSI refers to the injection of a sperm into an egg. Using high-powered magnification, we can use specialized tools to securely grasp the egg, penetrate it, and deposit a sperm cell within its center. The sample will be allowed to culture in a lab overnight, and is later checked for evidence that fertilization has successfully occurred. The fertilized eggs can then be transferred to the uterus, or allowed to develop for 3-5 days, growing to become zygotes or blastocysts, before they are implanted. Afterwards, patients may choose to freeze, or cryopreserve, leftover embryos for future use.
Benefits and Considerations
ICSI is particularly effective in helping couples who are affected by severe male infertility, when little or no viable sperm naturally occur within the ejaculated semen. It may be recommended if previous rounds of IVF have proven unsuccessful, or to check for genetic disorders since each individual sperm can be screened. Similarly to IVF, the risks related to ICSI include multiple pregnancy (when two or more implanted embryos develop), and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
Schedule a Consultation with Us Today
Whether you have been diagnosed with infertility, or are seeking medical assistance after trying to conceive on your own, we can help. To learn more about how our services can help you achieve your goals of starting or growing your family, reach out to us today and book an appointment.