Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is used in male infertility cases.
Sperm is collected from the male after an ejaculation. If the man cannot ejaculate, sperm can be retrieved from testicular biopsies in roughly half of cases. The sperm are then prepared by removing the surrounding cells. The sperm are immobilized to avoid damaging their delicate structures. A smooth-ended glass pipette is used to hold the sperm, while a sharp ultrafine pipette pierces the egg and puts a single sperm into the egg. The fertilized egg is then left for it to grow and if it grows well, it will be transferred back into the womenís uterus. It should only be used when there is male factor infertility. Itís use when there is no male factor infertility, it can actually lower success rates. ICSI is slowly being replaced with PICSI. If there is male factor infertility, then see how PICSI could help you.
The rates of success are around the same as standard IVF (25% per cycle). However, there is an increased risk of genetic and birth defects in ICSI babies. Furthermore, the male infertility factors are likely to be passed onto the baby if it is a male. Studies in Sweden found that babies born via ICSI have a greater risk of developing Autism. With sperm that has been frozen (cryo) there is a 2-fold increase in major malformations in newborns when ICSI is used. This is mainly because a sperm that looks good enough to inject into the egg actually isnít. Forcing a sperm into an egg takes Nature out of conception leading to possible abnormalities.
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