Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is an advanced in vitro fertilization (IVF) process where a single sperm is injected directly into the cytoplasm of a human egg. This procedure was designed to help couples to achieve successful pregnancy who are facing severe male Infertility or have failed to conceive in previous in vitro fertilization attempt.
In ICSI the maximum possible amount of eggs are retrieved, but the eggs which are matured are only injected with sperm. On an average about 75 to 80 percent of eggs which are retrieved can be injected.
This process was developed by Gianpiero Palermo at the Vrije University Brussel, in the center for Reproductive Medicine headed by Paul Devroey and Andre Van Steirteghem. The fun fact is that this process was discovered by mistake. This procedure was performed for the first time in 1987, but could reach only to the pronuclear phase. However, later in January 14, 1992 first birth took place through ICSI which was conceived in April,1991.
It is the inability to conceive by a couple after 1 year of unprotected sexual intercourse. Both men and women have equal chances of being infertile. Male infertility problems could be due to the following reasons:
Such problems could be solved with the help of advanced and specialised technologies such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other procedures. This process has a high success rate and it gives hopes to the couples who are unable to attain pregnancy to get a fertilized embryo.
ICSI is mostly recommended in the case of male factor infertility where achieving fertilization will be very difficult. Cases of male Infertility where ICSI is used are :
There are seven steps involved in ICSI, they are:
After the procedure is successfully finished, the embryo is placed physically into the woman’s uterus. Then one has to run tests and wait for the signs of pregnancy.
One can conclude about the success rate of ICSI by the fertilization rate achieved in the UCSF IVF laboratory which is currently 80 to 85 percent. Through ICSI couples with male factor infertility have achieved 70 to 80 percent of fertilization rate for all eggs injected which is equivalent to fertilization with normal sperm. The pregnancy rates achieved through ICSI are comparable with those attained through IVF in couples who have no male factor infertility.
There are many risks associated with ICSI, where a normal pregnancy has 1.5 to 3 percent risk of major birth defects it has a slightly increased rate of birth defects which is still very rare.
Most of the studies states that babies developed through artificial insemination may have a risk of imprinting defects. Imprinting is when certain genes in the baby behave differently depending on the chromosome passed on by the father or by the mother. Whereas some researchers believe that such manipulation of zygotes are similar to those in natural pregnancy.
Further about 5 percent of the eggs could be damaged due to needle insertion. Chromosome abnormality in ICSI is four times more than spontaneous conception. Some of the problems related with sex chromosome abnormalities:
Since few of the studies states that there may be slow development in children born of ICSI.
However, one can not evidently conclude the above case.
Though some of the doctors believe that ICSI leads to birth defects, but it may also result due to the inherent risk of abnormalities in parents undergoing this procedure. If anyone is seeking to undergo ICSI procedure one can consult with his/her doctor who can guide the couple about the risks and complications related to ICSI procedure
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