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Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection-ICSI

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the process of collecting eggs from the wife and sperm from the husband and fertilizing them in the Embryology Laboratory. In order to increase chances of fertilization, a single sperm is injected into each of the retrieved eggs using a precision needle in a process called Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).

What are the benefits of IVF-ICSI?

ICSI has been shown to improve the fertilization rate in the vast majority of cases. It may be especially helpful in the following cases:

  • Low sperm count
  • Poor sperm motility
  • High amount of abnormal sperm
  • Vasectomy
  • Immunological factors
  • Other conditions that prevent fertilization of the egg
  • Retrograde ejaculation

What are the steps and duration of an IVF-ICSI cycle?

During the initial consultation, an Infertility Specialist will take a full medical history and may perform a check-up that includes an ultrasound scan and blood tests to check hormonal levels. Based on the medical history and clinical exams, a personalized treatment plan is constructed. If the IVF Specialist suspects that infertility may be attributed to a Male Factor, a semen analysis will be conducted before treatment and the protocol will be altered as necessary.

In the case that IVF-ICSI is the right treatment for you, the following will take place over 21-25 days.

Ovarian Stimulation (7 to 10 days):

On Day 2 or 3 of the Menstrual cycle, medication is prescribed to stimulate the growth of multiple follicles in the ovaries. During this time, follicular growth is monitored through ultrasound as they develop into eggs and hormone levels are tracked through blood tests. Medication protocols are changed as needed. 36 – 40 hours before the scheduled Egg Retrieval, an hCG “trigger” shot is given to induce maturation of the eggs within a scheduled timeframe.

Egg Retrieval (OPU):

Eggs are retrieved using a thin ultrasound-guided needle during a short procedure under sedation. The number of eggs retrieved depends on the body’s response to the medication.

Sperm Collection and ICSI:

On the day of Egg Retrieval, a semen sample is taken to fertilize the retrieved eggs. To increase chances of fertilization, a single sperm is injected into each egg using a precision needle in a method called ICSI.

Possible Genetic Testing (GT):

If Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening (CCS) will be completed for chromosomal screening  (with the possibility of Gender Selection) or Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) will be completed to prevent passing on a  hereditary disease, 3 to 5 days after the Egg Retrieval, a biopsy is taken from each embryo and tested in our Genetics Lab. The healthy embryos are then transferred to the uterus.

Embryo Transfer (ET):

Embryo Transfer is a minor procedure that does not require sedation. Following the procedure, hormone levels are tracked through blood test to confirm pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Will every fertilized egg develop into a healthy embryo?

It is important to understand that not every egg collected will fertilize and develop into a viable embryo. It is common to have a variation of embryo stages and grades in embryos at any point after fertilization. After the eggs have fertilized, the embryologists will provide you with an assessment on the quality of the embryos.

  • Should I be considering IVF-ICSI? Do I have other options?

Each couple is unique and it is important to discuss your full medical history with an Infertility Specialist before making a decision. IVF Centre is aware that experiencing difficulty in conceiving can be stressful, emotionally and financially, and we will do our part to help you and your spouse fulfill your dreams of parenthood.

  • Can I complete part of my treatment in my home country?

Like many of the couples that visit Fakih IVF, you may start Ovarian Stimulation locally (around 10 days of medication) before coming to the Center for 7 to 9 days to complete the Egg Retrieval, fertilization using ICSI, and Embryo Transfer. Contact our International Patient Coordinator to get started with your IVF Journey.

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