Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a process where a single sperm is injected directly into the egg using a fine glass needle. The main objective of ICSI is to ensure that the spermatozoa fertilize the egg membrane. The woman is stimulated with medications and then an egg retrieval procedure is performed so that several eggs can be obtained to attempt an ICSI procedure.
ICSI is recommended in cases of severe male infertility, previous fertilization failures with IVF or situations in which there are a limited number of oocytes available.
Steps to follow in an ICSI treatment
- A very fine delicate needle is carefully inserted through the zona (the shell of the egg) and into the center (cytoplasm) of the egg.
- The sperm is injected into the cytoplasm and the needle is removed.
- The eggs are checked the next morning for evidence of normal fertilization.
Intricacies involved in an ICSI treatment
There is evidence that the babies conceived through ICSI may have an increased risk of chromosomal abnormality. The possibility that a boy conceived as a result of ICSI may inherit his father’s infertility. An increased risk of miscarriage because the technique uses sperm that would not otherwise have been able to fertilize an egg. A low sperm count caused by genetic problems could be passed on to a male child, so you may want to undergo genetic tests before going ahead with ICSI.
Precautions to take after an ICSI treatment
- Heavy exercise like aerobics, jogging, and weight lifting are prohibited.
- Smoking or consumption of alcohol should also be avoided.
- Please consult your doctor before taking any medication.