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Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is an advanced treatment that can help patients become parents

The doctors at our Indianapolis fertility clinic utilize intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI, to help patients manage a variety of fertility issues. This procedure occurs during an IVF, or in vitro fertilization, cycle. It consists of an embryologist injecting a single sperm into the center of a mature egg. This option allows many patients to bypass fertility issues like a low sperm count.

The benefits of intracytoplasmic sperm injection

ICSI can be incredibly helpful when a patient has severe male factor infertility. It’s also beneficial when there has been a failure of fertilization in a prior IVF cycle or if testing suggests the sperm has difficulty fertilizing the egg. These issues can occur for a variety of reasons.

Sperm antibodies. When the patient has sperm antibodies, they can attack and weaken sperm. This attack can decrease the chance of conception. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection allows the sperm to bypass these antibodies.

Sperm disorders. Patients with a low sperm count, sperm motility defects or sperm of abnormal shape and appearance could benefit from ICSI.

Sperm cannot undergo necessary changes. To fertilize an egg, the sperm must undergo various changes when traveling through the fallopian tubes. When sperm cannot make these changes, it can be difficult to conceive. This is no longer an issue when a patient utilizes ICSI.

Impenetrable eggs. In some cases, the sperm is unable to penetrate the egg because of sperm antibodies or abnormalities in the outer layers of the egg. During ICSI, an embryologist supports the process of the sperm penetrating the egg.

The specialists at our Indianapolis fertility clinic successfully use this procedure to help many patients overcome fertility challenges and fulfill their dream of parenthood.

What happens during this procedure?

The first steps of this procedure involve the doctor collecting eggs from the female patient or an egg donor. The male then provides a sperm sample. Both the sperm and the eggs get sent to our lab.

An embryologist stabilizes an egg under the microscope with a special micro-pipette. They then pick up a single sperm with a small needle and inject it into the egg. 16 to 20 hours later, they evaluate the egg for fertilization. About 50-70% of eggs fertilize normally during this procedure.

When the egg fertilizes, the resulting embryo grows in the lab for about five to six days before the doctor transfers it into the uterus of the hopeful mother or a gestational surrogate.

If patients have difficulty producing or ejaculating sperm, the doctor might recommend intracytoplasmic sperm injection with microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA) or testicular epididymal sperm extraction (TESE). MESA involves the collection of sperm from the coiled tube lying behind and above each testicle. TESE consists of a specialist removing tissue from the testicle and immediately examining it for the presence of sperm.

The expert team at our Indianapolis fertility clinic helps patients determine whether IVF with ICSI is right for them. Contact us for more information about our fertility services.