Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
A technique used in assisted reproductive technology (ART), for fertilisation of an oocyte to overcome male infertility problems. It involves the injection of a single sperm into an egg to facilitate fertilization. ICSI is commonly used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF) to improve the chances of successful fertilization and pregnancy.
- AIM: ICSI is primarily done when there is significant male infertility factors that may hinder the ability of sperm to fertilize the egg naturally. These factors maybe low sperm count, poor sperm motility, abnormal sperm morphology, or the presence of anti-sperm antibodies. ICSI helps in the selection and injection of a single sperm directly into the egg, bypassing natural barriers and increasing the likelihood of fertilization.
- Technique: ICSI involves several steps. First is the mature eggs are retrieved from the woman's ovaries through ovarian stimulation and follicular aspiration, the retrieved eggs are then prepared for injecting the sperm. Meanwhile, semen sample is obtained, sperm selection is done based on quality, and a single sperm is carefully injected into each mature egg using a needle (micromanipulator).
- Fertilization and Embryo Development: After injecting the sperm in the egg, the fertilized eggs (embryos) are cultured in the lab for development. The progress is regularly monitored by the embryologist to assess their quality.
- Success Rate: ICSI has significantly improved the chances of successful fertilization of the egg for male infertility issues. The success rates of ICSI are influenced by factors like the quality of the eggs and sperm, the expertise of the embryologist doing the procedure and the lab conditions.
It is important to note that ICSI is a specialized procedure that requires the expertise of trained professionals. The decision for performing ICSI on the egg should be made with the team of healthcare professionals doing the treatment of the couple based on a thorough evaluation of individual circumstances and informed consent.
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