ICSI is more popular then you might guess in treating male factor infertility! Read below for more information.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) (pronounced “ICK-see”) is a procedure used in conjunction with IVF in which a laboratory technician, using a microscope, attempts to inject a single sperm directly into each egg. To better understand the procedure and steps involved with ICSI, please refer to the steps outlining the IVF procedure, in the last post. The only difference with ICSI is during step three, fertilization. Rather than placing the eggs in a dish surrounded by many sperm, a single sperm is injected into each egg. ICSI is often used if the male partner has very low sperm count, low sperm motility, or poor quality sperm. If fertilization occurs after ICSI, the embryo may then be transferred into the uterus.
In some cases, the health care provider may use other advanced procedures to extract the sperm directly from a man’s testicle or epididymis (a section of sperm duct at the back of the testicle).
The use of ICSI and these sperm extraction techniques has greatly improved the ability of reproductive endocrinologists to treat male factor infertility. However, these treatments are not effective for men who do not produce any sperm at all. In these cases, donor sperm would be necessary.