Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection also known as ICSI treatment is one of the assisted reproductive technologies (ART) generally used for male infertility problems. ICSI treatment is a part of the conventional in vitro fertilization (IVF). In this process, only a single sperm is used and inserted into a mature egg, which is then placed in a woman’s uterus after fertilization.
Who Can Go For ICSI Treatment
ICSI treatment is used for men with infertility issues. This treatment is recommended to people with the following conditions:
- Low sperm count
- Poor morphology (abnormal shape) or motility of the sperm( the sperms are not able to reach the egg)
- when IVF is not successful
- Ejaculation problems
- Need to use frozen sperms
- Surgically retrieved sperms
ICSI Treatment Procedure
The treatment procedure begins with the normal IVF process in which ovulation stimulation drugs are provided to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. Progress will be monitored through vaginal ultrasound scans and blood tests to confirm adequate hormone levels for the release and maturation of the eggs. The eggs retrieval process is the same as IVF and each egg is inserted into a single sperm.
After the retrieval of the egg, the partner will be asked to collect semen. If its unable to ejaculate the semen, then the infertility specialist extract the sperm from the partner using two techniques as mentioned below:
1. Epididymis or PESA
2. Testicular sperm aspiration or TESA
In both these techniques, the surgeon uses a small needle to extract the sperms from the stored area and is performed under a local anesthetic. In most cases, this process is conducted before the IVF treatment and the collected sperm is frozen until required.
When the infertility specialist has acquired both the egg and the sperm, they are sent to the hedge fertility lab for further process. The sperms are isolated into individual sperm and the healthiest sperm is fertilized with the egg. After fertilization within a day, an embryo is developed and the embryo is transferred into the uterine cavity following the procedures of the IVF treatment.
The ICSI treatment cycle lasts for almost four weeks and six weeks to complete. Patients are required to spend a half-day at the clinic for the egg and sperm retrieval procedures. After the retrieval process, you will be asked to come back in the second or fifth day for the embryo transfer. If the embryo transfer happens to be in the fifth day after the retrieval of the egg and the sperm, then the fertilized embryo has formed into a blastocyst. The transfer of the blastocyst will increase the chances of getting pregnant as the embryo has started its development.
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