What is ICSI?
During IVF treatment, sperm is combined with an egg in a laboratory setting with the goal of creating an embryo. In ICSI, a single sperm is injected into the egg. This increases the chances of fertilization because the sperm does not need to break through the egg’s wall. Here are 4 reasons couples may want to consider using ICSI.
1. Treatment for slow swimmers
ICSI is commonly recommended in cases of male factor infertility. This could mean that sperm count is low or that the male partner’s sperm has a hard time penetrating the wall of the egg. This difficulty could be due to low motility or movement or to abnormal sperm shape. In these cases, ICSI may be a treatment to increase the chances of fertilization.
2. Unexplained infertility
IVF is a highly effective treatment for couples struggling with infertility. However, the first round of IVF does not always result in a pregnancy. If a couple’s first attempt at IVF has been unsuccessful, fertility specialists may recommend trying ICSI. Even if there is no known cause for infertility, ICSI can increase the chances of IVF success.
3. Using mature or frozen eggs
Using ICSI in the IVF procedure may be recommended when the couple is using mature or frozen eggs. In these cases, fertilization is typically more difficult. Choosing to use ICSI can mitigate the risk of the egg not being fertilized. Some couples may try IVF without ICSI first or may opt to incorporate ICSI in the first IVF attempt.
4. Diminished ovarian reserve
This condition refers to a woman losing reproductive potential. Typically, this occurs around menopause when egg quality and quantity decreases. In some women, this can happen prematurely, or prior to menopause. In these cases, IVF with ICSI is a common treatment recommendation.
Speak with a fertility specialist
Couples undergoing fertility treatment should consult with a fertility specialist regarding the pros and cons of IVF with ICSI. The treatment is not necessary for all couples. However, for some, using ICSI can make a big difference in increasing IVF success.
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