Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
In cases where the sperm volume is too low, there is a reduced sperm count, too many deformed sperm, or poor sperm motility, the embryologist may decide to use a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) to ensure fertilization of the egg. With ICSI, the technician uses a needle to inject a single sperm into each mature egg. This precise, revolutionary micromanipulation procedure is performed in the Presbyterian ARTs lab and can treat severe male factor infertility, allowing couples to bypass sperm defects and achieve a successful pregnancy. ICSI treatment may also help men who have undergone a failed vasectomy reversal. With ICSI, even men with little to no moving sperm can produce a successful fertilization.
The ICSI process
First, the egg is isolated in the culture dish and held in place with a suction pipette, a thin, glass straw. The embryologist selects a single healthy sperm and removes the tail portion with the sharp end of a micro needle. After removal of the tail, the sperm is gently sucked into the glass needle and injected through the outer shell of the egg into its center.
Following the injection, the embryologist returns the culture dish to the incubator, which offers the optimal environment for fertilization to occur. Currently, we partner with Presbyterian ARTs and our ICSI fertilization rates are at 82 percent. Dr. Douglas sees pregnancy rates with ICSI that are comparable to those seen in IVF cycles of couples with no male factor infertility and normal sperm.