ICSI stands for Intro Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection. The whole technique was developed by researches of Brussels University and a science institution in St. Louis, US. The amazing thing about ICSI procedure is that men who were considered ultimately unable to fertilize have succeeded in it and the procedure implication worldwide has already resulted in more than 10,000 babies and perfectly physically, genetically and mentally babies they are. You or your spouse might be the one for ICSI procedure if you are closely familiar with one of the following cases.
The female-based causes include the low number or simply low quality of eggs and if you have already done IVF (in vitro fertilization) but haven't conceived or low rate fertilization has occurred - which means there is low percentage of mature eggs that are fertilized.
The male-based causes include a male partner having severe infertility and the couple is unwilling to use donor sperm or the sperm concentration is less than 15-20 million per milliliter, you are ICSI procedure material. The same applies if the sperm motility is less than 35% or poor sperm morphology.
So, how exactly does the ICSI procedure go? If you are familiar with IVF or GIFT egg retrieval techniques, you might note that it pretty much goes the same way as the ICSI procedure. Then a mature egg is placed in a special tiny pipette. Then the actual single sperm injecting comes. It is done by an extremely sharp and at the same time delicate needle which picks up a single sperm.
Then comes the microneedle puncture into the egg - the needle goes through the zone of the egg with great caution, which lets the sperm get loose in the cytoplasm of the egg. Then the needle is withdrawn. It is taken until the next morning for the evidence of the fertilization to appear or the evidence that it hasn't occurred.
After three days the eggs are placed into the woman's uterus with no surgery necessary. The remaining embryos are frozen in case the attempt fails and you want another one or just for future cases. Usually the sperm comes from male partner's ejaculation. Even if there is just a few sperm over there, the ICSI procedure can still work its magic.
If there happens to be no sperm in the ejaculate, the physician will perform a testicle biopsy, use high-quality equipment and find a few immobile sperm present there and then do the usual routine with single sperm injecting and micro-needle puncture into the egg to successful results.
The good news is that the fertilization rate usually stays pretty high 60 to 85 per cent, so there is a fat chance it works from the first time. In addition, both research and statistic indicate, that as compared to IVF alone, IVF plus ICSI procedure boost the chances for fertilization.
The reason for this is probably that most females who sign up for ICSI are comparatively young, whereas many women go for IVF for other causes rather than male partner's infertility. Both IVF and ICSI procedure depend on the individual health factor, the quality of the eggs, the physician's skills and experience, the technique involved the equipment and the results of the embryo transfer.