Who is it suitable for?
In modern ART practice its use has been extended into other situations for example:
- Patients with very low sperm numbers
- Patients with very low sperm motility
- Patients with very high numbers of abnormal sperm
- When the sperm have been surgically collected i.e. taken directly from the epididymis (MESA) or testicles (TESA)
- When there is a high level of antibodies in the semen
- When very few eggs have fertilised following conventional IVF or very few eggs have been collected at egg pick-up
Unnecessary ICSI produces no benefit over routine IVF, therefore ICSI will not be carried out unless one of the above criteria is met. Your specialist will advise you if ICSI is recommended for your cycle.
How is it done?
All patients receive hormonal stimulation as for conventional IVF treatment, the differences between IVF and ICSI occur in the laboratory alone.
After its collection the egg is examined to ensure it is suitable for ICSI, and a single sperm is injected into the egg. The eggs are then placed in culture and examined the following day to see whether they have fertilised normally.
A semen sample will need to be provided on the morning of the egg collection by the partner. However, if the sperm is to be collected surgically, this will have been performed earlier and frozen, or collected on the days prior to, or on the day, of oocyte collection.
How will I feel?
ICSI treatment cycles are conducted in exactly the same way as conventional IVF cycles and the side effects are identical.