ICSI is an IVF technique in which a single sperm is injected into the centre of an egg. Today, it’s the world's favoured fertilisation method for all types of IVF.
How it works
The early stages of ICSI treatment are the same as for conventional IVF. The female partner takes fertility drugs to stimulate her ovaries so that several eggs can be collected. Each egg is injected with a sperm cell so that several embryos will be available for transfer and freeze storage. Each individual sperm cell is picked up in a very fine suction needle (many times smaller than a human hair) before injection. The whole process is visualised through very high magnification microscopes.
Who needs ICSI
ICSI can help men with low quality or quantity sperm by extracting just a few sperm cells from the testis for injection into the egg. The rate of fertilisation with ICSI is generally around 90%, so many clinics use ICSI to guarantee fertilisation.
Surgical Sperm Retrieval
There are rare cases of male infertility in which normal sperm production or sperm ejaculation is prevented by an obstruction in the complicated tubal system of the testes. In these cases, provided that motile sperm are being produced, it is possible to retrieve sperm through surgical sperm retrieval which uses a very fine needle to extract sperm directly from the epididymis or the testes.
Alternatively, if no live sperm are found, a sample of tissue (testicular biopsy) can be taken from the testes and examined under a microscope for sperm cells. Any surgically retrieved sperm cells can then be used to fertilise eggs using the microinjection technique of ICSI.
These statistics show our IVF/ICSI success rates for our individual clinics across the country - those that successfully lead to pregnancy. All pregnancies were confirmed for foetal heartbeat by ultrasound scans.