Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
This page will answer some of the questions you may have about Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) treatment. ICSI treatment is recommended for patients who have few sperm, sperm that are not moving well, or who have in the past failed to achieve fertilisation.
ICSI involves injecting a single sperm into the centre of the egg, using a very fine needle. This gives poor quality sperm a chance of achieving fertilisation. However there is a risk that the egg may be damaged during the procedure. This would result in the egg being unusable.
During your treatment, the eggs will be collected in the same way as normal IVF treatment. The semen sample will be requested after the egg collection procedure. Due to the specialist nature of the equipment used, the expertise and the extra time needed to carry out these techniques, there will be an additional charge to the routine IVF.
Results show that ICSI gives an average fertilisation rate of 70 in 100, with about 8 in 100 eggs being damaged during the procedure. The success of this form of treatment depends on the severity of the sperm disorder and also on the number of mature eggs available.
Pregnancy rates after ICSI are similar to those achieved with conventional IVF.
There are many reasons why a man might have a very low sperm count. The cause is sometimes genetic which means that a subfertile man might pass the same type of subfertility on to his son. New techniques like ICSI can help a couple achieve a pregnancy despite a very low count.
There is concern about the possibility of passing a genetic problem on to children. Studies on an increased risk of birth defects in babies born from ICSI have shown conflicting results.
Some studies show a slight increase in abnormalities and others show no difference to the normal rate. However, it does seem that abnormalities in the sex chromosomes (the X and Y chromosomes) may happen slightly more often.
Please visit the fertility website www.hfea.gov.ukfor more information.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the fertility nurses through Mrs K Reddy’s secretary on the number below.
Cotswold Fertility Unit
Tel: 0300 422 3128
Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 4:00pm