What is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)?

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has helped to improve the chances of success of in vitro fertilization (IVF) for many couples in Encino, California and other areas of the country. This procedure involves the injection of a single sperm into a mature egg. The embryo is then transferred to the woman's uterus where it may develop. In some cases, the embryo may be transferred to the fallopian tube. This procedure may be used in conjunction with IVF to help individuals with severe male infertility overcome the condition and successfully conceive.

Those who may be considered a good candidate for this procedure include men who have undergone a vasectomy reversal who may have high levels of sperm antibodies, which may prevent conception. Those with low sperm count or motility may also be considered a candidate for this procedure, as well as men who have abnormally shaped sperm. Couples who have undergone previous unsuccessful in vitro fertilization procedures may also be considered a candidate. Anybody who has decided to undergo IVF may also opt for this procedure as well, although patients should discuss it with a fertility specialist in Encino first.

Possible risks of this procedure include damage to the egg from the needle used to inject sperm. The egg may not grow into an embryo after being injected with the sperm, or may stop growing. If the procedure is a success and fertilization occurs, the likelihood that the couple will see the pregnancy to the full term and give birth are no better with this procedure than with IVF. All couples who opt for ICSI should consult a fertility specialist in the Encino area before moving forward with the procedure to ensure that it is right for them and they understand all possible risks.

Possible birth defects with ICSI are rare, but may include Beckwith-Wiedmann syndrome which is characterized by large body size, Angelman syndrome which is a neuro-genetic disorder that may be characterized by developmental or intellectual delay, Hypospadias which involves the opening of the urethra being located on the underside of the penis rather than the tip and sex chromosome abnormities such as Downs syndrome. Again, it is important to discuss these possible birth defects before pursuing this procedure.

Undergoing this procedure does not guarantee success. In fact, the success rates have been reported at around 50% to 80%. In instances in which the male donor has low sperm count, ICSI may provide a higher success rate of fertilization. Most insurance companies do not cover this procedure. It may add an additional $1,200 to $1,800 to the cost of in vitro fertilization, although this may vary and does not cover the potential treatment required to retrieve sperm from the male donor.

Learn more about intracytoplasmic sperm injection in Encino, California.

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