Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection and In Vitro Fertilization

Couples who are struggling with infertility in the Honolulu, Hawaii area as well as in other parts of the country often turn to fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) to find relief and help them achieve their goals. This is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) that has helped many couples overcome various causes of infertility through a proven method of combining sperm and eggs in a lab so they may form an embryo which is later transferred to the uterus for implantation. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI, is a procedure used along with IVF by many couples.

First, IVF works by combining sperm and eggs in a glass dish in a laboratory to create several embryos. 'In vitro' literally means 'in glass' in Latin. Not all embryos are transferred to the uterus for implantation to help reduce the risk of multiple births, although this risk still exists to an extent because more than one embryo is transferred per cycle. The transferred embryos may implant in the uterine lining where they may develop into a fetus and the mother may carry the child to term.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is a procedure that involves the direct injection of a single sperm into a mature egg. This procedure may be used in cases of severe male factor infertility such as those with low sperm counts or problems with sperm motility. Men who have undergone a vasectomy reversal and may have sperm antibodies present that are preventing them from conceiving may also find ICSI helpful in achieving their goals. What's more, couples who have undergone previous unsuccessful IVF cycles may find this procedure useful, as well as women with certain egg production problems and men who have a blockage in their reproductive tract.

It is important that patients speak with a trained professional in the Honolulu area to help them determine if IVF or ICSI may be right for them. Patients should discuss possible risks and complications associated with IVF and/or ICSI. Possible birth defects resulting from the use of ICSI are rare, but should be discussed nonetheless. These include Beckwith-Wiedmann syndrome, Angelman syndrome, hypospadias and sex chromosome abnormalities (Down syndrome, etc.). What's more, possible complications include damage being done to the egg or the egg not growing into an embryo or stop growing altogether.

ICSI may help to improve the chances of fertilization, but when this occurs, the chances of a pregnancy that is carried to term are not improved compared to cases in which only IVF is used. This is another subject that patients should consult a fertility specialist regarding, as there are various factors that may influence the possible chances of success for each individual or couple. IVF may range in price from $10,000 to $15,000 with ICSI adding an additional $1,200 to $1,800 to the total cost. This is variable and most insurance companies do not cover cost, so patients should seek consultation for a more accurate estimate of total costs.

Learn more about intracytoplasmic sperm injection in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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