ICSI: Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

ICSI Bypasses Barriers to Fertilization

ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) was first developed at the Brussels Free University in Belgium. ICSI is currently the most successful form of micromanipulative assisted fertilization available for male factor infertility. 

What is ICSI?

ICSI involves injecting a single sperm directly into the cytoplasm of a mature egg (oocyte) using a glass needle (pipette) thus bypassing any barriers to fertilization. Typically ICSI is used to overcome a male factor infertility. It is also helpful when a woman's eggs has difficulties being penetrated by sperm.

Reasons for ICSI

  • Sperm completely absent from the ejaculate (azoospermia)
  • Sperm present in low concentrations (oligospermia).
  • Poor sperm motility (asthenospermia)
  • Poor sperm morphology (teratospermia)
  • Sperm retrieved by surgical techniques (for example TESA, TESE)
  • Problems with sperm binding to and penetrating the egg
  • Antisperm antibodies
  • Previous failed or poor fertilization
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Frozen sperm limited in quantity
  • If preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is being used to screen embryos for a specific genetic disorder

ICSI Procedure

The process is performed on an inverted microscope at a magnification of 200x. The microscope is equipped with a warming stage to maintain a temperature of 37ºC and two micromanipulators moved hydraulically by joystick controllers. Using these tools, precise movements can be made to micro tools which hold the oocyte and sperm. Although FCC doesn’t actually perform the ICSI for IVF, FCC has the capability of collecting or freezing sperm no matter the source for the ICSI procedure at the time of IVF or a future date by which requires the same type of microscope. FCC has had great success in freezing very low number of sperm for IVF.

ICSI Services at FCC

A variety of ICSI services and infertility treatments are provided at the Fertility Center of California.

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