Overview of ICSI
•If a man’s sperm cannot penetrate the outer layer of the egg due to problems with the sperm, intracytoplasmic sperm injection can be used to inject a single sperm into an egg to enable fertilization.
•ICSI is used with IVF to fertilize an egg, creating an embryo that can then be implanted one to five days later.
•ICSI fertilizes 50 to 80 percent of eggs, and birth defects caused by ICSI are rare.
How ICSI works
In order for a man’s sperm to fertilize a woman’s egg, the head of the sperm must first attach to the outside of the egg, then push through the outer layer of the egg to the inside of the egg (the cytoplasm). If the sperm cannot Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection penetrate the outer layer, a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm
In traditional in vitro fertilization (IVF), the sperm are mixed in a laboratory dish with the woman’s egg to produce fertilization. With ICSI, however, a single sperm is injected into the center of the egg to ensure the initial stage of fertilization occurs. Once fertilized, the embryo (fertilized egg) grows in a laboratory for one to five days, and then is placed in the woman’s uterus (womb).
When to use ICSI
ICSI helps overcome several male fertility problems:
•The man may produce too few sperm.
•The sperm may not be shaped correctly or move in a normal fashion.
•The sperm may have trouble attaching to the egg.
•A blockage in the reproductive tract may keep sperm from getting out.
•Unexplained infertility (ICSI can be used when traditional IVF has not produced fertilization, regardless of the apparent condition of the sperm).
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