What is Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) fertility treatment

What is Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) fertility treatment

There could be multiple reasons for infertility. Sometimes a simple IVF (in-vitro fertilization) procedure can be your answer to infertility. ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) is a simple procedure done with IVF to ensure the fertilization of the egg, typically used in cases of severe male infertility. In this article, we shall cover everything you need to know about ICSI including:

1) What is ICSI treatment?

2) How does ICSI work?

3) Why need ICSI?

4) Success rate 

5) Cost of ICSI treatment in India

6) Risk factors involved in ICSI

What is ICSI treatment?

To fertilize a woman’s egg, the head of the sperm must attach to the outside of the egg firstly. Once attached, the sperm pushes through the outer layer to the inside of the egg (cytoplasm), where fertilization takes place. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons like the thickness of the egg’s outer layer or the inability of the sperm to swim, the sperm cannot penetrate the outer layer. In such cases, a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can be done along with in vitro fertilization (IVF) to help fertilize the egg. 

How does ICSI work?

Doctors perform the ICSI procedure with IVF, which involves the injection of a single sperm directly into the cytoplasm of the egg. During this procedure, the doctor inserts a tiny needle, called a micropipette (holding a single sperm) into the center of the egg.

If the eggs are fertilized, they are left to mature for several days, at which point they become multicellular embryos. Healthy embryos are used by doctors for the embryo transfer procedure (inserting an embryo into a woman’s uterus).

Why need ICSI?

ICSI can help couples who have struggled with infertility, especially when infertility issues are male-related. ICSI during IVF gives you an enhanced fertilization rate, which can increase the number of fertilized eggs available for transfer or freezing.

ICSI helps to overcome fertility problems, such as:

  • Men with severely low sperm count
  • The sperm may not move in a normal fashion
  • Men with problems associated with sperm development
  • Men with a blockage that prevents sperm from being ejaculated (such as a vasectomy)
  • The male partner produces too few sperm to do artificial insemination (intrauterine insemination [IUI]) or IVF
  • The sperm may have trouble attaching to the egg
  • Eggs have not fertilized by traditional IVF, regardless of the condition of the sperm
  • In vitro matured eggs are being used
  • Previously frozen eggs are being used

Success rate

ICSI fertilizes 50% to 80% of eggs. You might assume all eggs get fertilized with ICSI-IVF, but they don’t. Your Fertilization isn’t guaranteed even when a sperm is injected into the egg. The following problems may occur during or after the ICSI process:

  • Some or all of the eggs may be damaged
  • The egg might not grow into an embryo even after it is injected with sperm
  • The embryo may stop growing

Once fertilization takes place, a couple’s chance of giving birth to a single baby, twins, or triplets is the same as for a couple using regular IVF treatment.

Cost of ICSI treatment in India

The IVF cost with the ICSI treatment ranges from Rs. 200,000 to Rs. 300,000. The minimum ICSI cost in India is Rs. 240000 to Rs. 250000 per cycle. This includes only the standard and traditional techniques. Overall, the cost of infertility tests is considered to be cheaper in India than in many other countries including the USA, UK, Europe, Singapore, and Canada.

The cost of ICSI in India can vary from hospital to hospital and city to city. However, no matter which city you choose to undergo the procedure in, the cost is usually only a fraction of the cost of ICSI in other parts of the world. The cost of treatment can also depend on the type of infertility being treated, the woman’s age, and other factors such as if any additional treatments are required.

Risk factors involved in ICSI

Even if ICSI can markedly increase your chances of a successful conception during IVF cycles, there are several risks associated with the process that intended parents must consider before choosing to undergo this procedure. 

The ICSI procedure has the possibility of an overall 0.08% or eight per 1,000 births risk of having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities or damaging the eggs due to needle insertion. It can also lead to an increased risk of miscarriage, heart problems, behavior or learning disabilities, or even infertility in your child during adulthood. 

Because of these risks, it’s necessary to pick a doctor you trust or select a fertility clinic that has little to no experience with these side effects.

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