Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a segment of IVF treatment and focused on infertility caused by malefactors. Infertility issues can be found in either male partner or female partner. Male fertility depends on the quality and quantity of sperm. The aim of sperm is to fertilize an egg by penetrating the outer shell of the egg. If the sperm is unable to perform this task naturally, an artificial process, ICSI, is used. ICSI is the process where a sperm is injected directly into a mature egg outside the body, in the lab, for fertilization. For male infertility consultation, connect to Dr Vishal Dutt Gour – Male Fertility Specialist in Delhi.
Reasons for Using ICSI
A mature egg can be fertilized by sperm, either naturally in the woman’s body or in the labs using IVF process. But in both cases, a sperm must hit the egg, infiltrate the outer membrane of the egg, and finally reach the cytoplasm to fertilize it.
If for some reason the egg’s outer membrane is thick enough to penetrate or sperm is inefficient to sustain, a sperm through ICSI is injected directly into the cytoplasm of the egg to fertilize it. .
Targeted Patients for ICSI
ICSI is used as an intermediate step in the IVF process if the male partner suffers from infertility caused by any of the following conditions.
- Oligospermia: This is an infertility condition that is caused by the low sperm count in semen. Since out of the thousands of sperm only one can penetrate a mature egg, thus the increased sperm counts maximize the probability of fertilization of the egg.
- Teratozoospermia: This condition is also known as the abnormal shape of the sperm. It is detected by the sperm morphology test. Since sperm is considered to penetrate the egg for fertilization, the shape and size of the sperm should be normal.
- Asthenozoospermia: This condition is led by sluggish sperm movement. Sperm should flow easily in the semen fluid.
- Vasa Deferentia Blockage: Vasa Deferential is a duct that transports sperm from the testicles to the urethra. The blockage in this duct may cause by the development of a natural cyst or by vasectomy.
- Frozen Egg or Sperm is Used in IVF: The outer shell of the frozen egg can be hard to penetrate even after thawing. Similarly, frozen sperm can be slow flowing.
ICSI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection) is used with the combination of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). The following are the steps of ICSI.
- Collecting Sperm: Sperms are collected from the semen sample of the male partner using the surgical testicular procedure. Alternatively, frozen sperms of male partners are thawed for fertilization.
- Collecting Mature Egg: A mature egg is collected from the female partner during ovulation or a frozen egg is thawed for the process.
- Injecting Sperm: In this step, a single sperm is injected into the core of the egg (cytoplasm) through a small needle or micropipette to fertilize the mature egg.
- Culturing Embryo: Once the sperm reaches the cytoplasm, the egg gets fertilized and forms the embryo. The embryo is kept in the lab in adaptive temperature for developing it for almost 4-5 days.
- Transferring Embryo: Finally, the cultured embryo is transferred to the woman’s womb for further development.