Author: Dr. Kathyaini V S          

Qualification : MBBS, DGO, Fellowship in Reproductive Medicine

ICSI Technology and everything you need to know about it

Medical jargon can often seem intimidating to those unfamiliar with it. Most things that you hear or see are worded in an unfamiliar way. However, like any other jargon, understanding the core essence of the matter at hand will take you much further in understanding a subject than simply remembering big words. Healthcare is essential to everybody and understanding it well as you acquire it is essential to your benefit.

Fertility treatments may similarly seem varied, simply due to the sheer range of techniques and methods that have been put to practice in the last few decades. The wide variety of methods in fertility treatments reflect the greater understanding of the human anatomy that has been recently honed and cultivated. Our series of blogs will aim to inform you on some of these techniques, so that you know what to expect when you consult a doctor regarding fertility advice.

IVF is a procedure with a great deal of steps, and ICSI is a technique that might not be used for everyone. If you want to refresh your understanding of IVF, you can find out more here. This blog will be talking about ICSI – Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. Simply put, it is a technique where a single sperm is injected directly into the egg in order to increase the chances of producing a healthy embryo. It is generally done if the male does not have sufficient amounts of healthy sperms to effectively fertilize an egg.

ICSI technology has been a gamechanger in IVF procedures. This technique enables us to help a man struggling with fertility due to a myriad of reasons. Surveys have shown that as a man gets older, the number of quality sperms reduce. A study conducted by The Centre for Reproductive & Genetic Health proved that while 61% of men under 51 had quality sperm, only 41% of men above 51 had quality sperm. Quality sperm is important to consider, as it is different from an individual having a sufficient number of sperms. In order for a sperm to be healthy and fertile, it must not only be present in good quantities, but also must be shaped normally, swim in the correct direction, and swim at the right speed. All of these factors play an important role in how successful a man might be in fertilising an egg.

In order for an IVF procedure to be successful without ICSI, it requires 50,000 – 1,00,000 normal and healthy sperms to effectively fertilise an egg. In the event of procuring inadequate sperm from a man, ICSI is a useful technique to ensure maximum success.

The series of events that take place prior to using ICSI are as follows.

  • Healthy eggs are extracted from the woman’s womb as part of a step in IVF.
  • Once they are retrieved, every egg is injected with a single sperm using ICSI to initiate fertilization.
  • The embryos that were successfully fertilised are then monitored closely in a lab using EmbryoScope technology.
  • Once the embryos have been monitored, the healthiest one is selected and then transferred into the mother’s uterus. If there are high amounts of healthy embryos, they are frozen and preserved for future transfers if required.

The success rates of consecutive implantation vary but are generally anywhere between 75 and 85 percent. Once the embryo is transferred into the woman’s uterus, it depends on a lot of factors for it to be a successful implantation. The woman’s health and pH value play a significant role in assuring the success of pregnancy. These matters are best discussed with trained professionals who have a legacy in understanding the human body. While a general understanding is always crucial to smoothening the process, the importance of a professional cannot be understated. They will guide you through the process smoothly and make sure that you fulfil your dreams with the utmost comfort.

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