What is ICSI treatment? – Learn how it works step by step
Infertility is a problem that many people experience on their way to create a family. Luckily, there are various ways to treat infertility. ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) is one of the treatment methods to overcome infertility. ICSI is similar to IVF, but with ICSI, one single sperm cell is injected directly into an egg. In this blog post, you can learn when ICSI treatment is a good option and how this fertility treatment works step by step.
When is ICSI treatment a good option?
ICSI treatment may be a good option when the man’s sperm quality is not good enough to fertilize the egg. If the man’s sperm quality is very low – for example, due to a genetic condition – a surgery where the sperm cells are extracted from the testicles may be necessary before ICSI treatment. ICSI can also be recommended if no or few eggs have been fertilized at previous attempts with IVF.
ICSI treatment with donor sperm
Having ICSI treatment with donor sperm may be an option if a woman at earlier attempts has had few eggs fertilized or if there are only a few eggs to fertilize and the partner has no healthy sperm cells or there is no male partner. Here, you can read about what type of donor sperm can be used for ICSI treatment.
How does ICSI treatment work – step by step?
ICSI is an advanced type of IVF treatment. Instead of placing sperm cells together with an egg in a petri dish, a single sperm cell is injected into the egg.
Step 1: Hormone stimulation
The first step of the treatment is for the woman to take reproductive hormones to stimulate the production of eggs in the ovaries.
Step 2: Egg retrieval
When the eggs have developed, they are removed from the woman’s ovaries with a small needle.
Step 3: Fertilization of eggs in the laboratory
In the laboratory, sperm cells from the male partner’s sample or from a donor sperm sample are selected. One single sperm cell is injected into each egg. The procedure is carried out with a fine needle that places the sperm cell inside the egg.
Step 4: Development of eggs in an incubator
The eggs are placed in an incubator and they will hopefully develop into embryos during a couple of days.
Step 5: Fertilized eggs are transferred to the uterus
One or more embryos are then placed in the uterus and hopefully, a pregnancy will occur.
In the video below, you can see an animation that explains how an ICSI treatment works.
If you liked this blog post, you may be interested in knowing more about male infertility and options for treatment with donor sperm.