IVF with ICSI Procedure

What happends during IVF with ICSI

By Sarah Leavitt, Medical Research EditorLast modified: October 04, 2011

IVF With ICSI Procedure

The IVF with ICSI procedure is similar to the IVF procedure but differs in the fertilization stage. Like IVF, the process occurs in-vitro (outside the biological body) under a microscope.

In the first stage of the procedure, the woman takes fertility drugs to stimulate the ovaries in producing more eggs than normal, as in a standard IVF procedure. The ovary stimulation usually starts on the third day of the female’s menstrual cycle. She is injected with follicle stimulating hormones (FSH) that increase the number of mature eggs that can be collected.

Doctors then extract the eggs and prepare the sperm for fertilization. Using a vaginal ultrasound, the doctors remove the eggs from the ovaries and collect them in a laboratory dish. Patients can either use sperm from the male partner or healthy sperm that is donated. IVF with ICSI requires micromanipulation tools for handling single sperm specimens. Doctors separate sperm to achieve a single live sperm to inject directly into the cytoplasm (the inner part of the egg). The direct injection circumvents the problem of a weak or slow sperm because the sperm doesn’t have to penetrate through the egg’s outer shell.

Despite the sperm injection, not every egg will fertilize. The cells of fertilized eggs will begin to divide to create embryos. Using a catheter, doctors will implant only healthy embryos into the female’s ovaries. The number of implanted ovaries depends on the age of the patient and the laws of the country. Some countries only allow one or two embryo transfers while others allow up to three.

Patients can donate leftover zygotes (fertilized eggs) and embryos for the purpose of embryo freezing to help other couples with infertility.  

IVF with ISCI is usually considered an additional cost to IVF treatment.

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