The gold standard with IVF
The IVF process starts with acquiring egg and sperm samples from the patients. To maximize the chances of success, the woman takes hormone medication to produce multiple mature eggs. Next, an embryologist takes the mature egg and sperm sample into a dish for fertilization. Millions of sperm in one sample will attempt to create the embryo. After multiple mature embryos form, which can take a few days, a fertility doctor performs implantation. The embryo is monitored for pregnancy, with any remaining stored for future cycles.
All about ICSI
Like IVF, ICSI is the process of creating an embryo outside the body for implantation at a later stage. However, the procedure takes a lot more skill and precision. The embryologist first takes a single sperm through a tiny pipette at the fertilization stage. Next, the solitary sperm is carefully injected into the center of each egg. The goal is to improve the chances of fertilization. The embryologist then monitors the embryos over several days. The best embryo is then transferred to the woman’s uterus through implantation.
What is the difference?
ICSI is an additional step in the IVF process specifically for male-factor infertility. Some men who cannot produce enough healthy sperm or azoospermia need this intervention. The precision of the procedure ensures that almost all eggs have a chance of fertilization. IVF is much less invasive for the egg. The process takes a more natural approach to the sperm finding the egg. For healthy sperm count and quality, there is no difference in success rates between IVF and ICSI. The medical team would not recommend ICSI unless there is a clear indication of severe male infertility.
The power of ART
Couples who struggle with infertility no longer need to suffer in silence. Medicine and technology have given thousands of couples a chance at starting or growing a family. IVF continues to show promise for infertile women and men. For severe male-factor infertility, ICSI is sometimes a necessary additional step. The medical team will provide more information on the difference during consultations and recommend the best technique.