Pros and Cons of ICSI: A healthy lifestyle is essential for successful ICSI pregnancy. At Indira IVF, learn about the advantages and disadvantages of ICSI. Read more.
ICSI or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is a form of IVF (in vitro fertilization) that is most commonly used in cases of extreme male infertility, after oocyte preservation (egg freezing) or after repeated failure with the conventional IVF attempts. In the case of regular IVF, several sperms are placed with an egg together. This is done so that the sperm enters the egg and fertilize it naturally. Contradiction to that, the ICSI process involves the embryologist taking a single sperm and injecting directly into an egg.
In certain fertility clinics, ICSI is recommended for every IVF cycle. In other clinics, the treatment is reserved only for those with extreme male infertility and in certain medical reasons. Despite being a highly advanced method, there are certain disadvantages of ICSI which are mainly associated with its risk factors. It is because of these disadvantages there are arguments against the treatment being used routinely.
The typical use of ICSI is extreme male infertility, which includes:
In case a man is producing sperm but his ejaculate doesn’t contain any sperm, it is possible to retrieve the sperms via TESE or testicular sperm extraction. When TESE is used for sperm retrieval, it is necessary to use ICSI. The treatment is also used when retrieval of the sperm is done from the urine of the man, i.e., in case of retrograde ejaculation.
While male infertility is the primary reason for the use of ICSI, it isn’t the only one. Other reasons may include:
The benefits of ICSI are evident in so many situations and it is definitely an excellent technology when the need arises. However, there are situations where success rates are still debatable. Which includes:
ICSI is an option definitely worth considering in case of poor general failure, ejaculation problems and other issues with male infertility. Individuals experiencing these problems can definitely get the benefits of ICSI treatment. It provides the male partner an opportunity to father a child using his own sperm. Couples can also go for ICSI before Opting to donor sperm for viable sperms. ICSI can be performed even if the man has undergone a vasectomy. In that case, viable sperm can be extracted directly from testicles using special sperm retrieval techniques and injected into the egg.
The procedure of ICSI is universally considered to be one with low associated risks. However, ICSI does come with a set of its own risks and disadvantages, as is the case with any aspect of medicine. Once the sperm is obtained, the male partner is not prone to any risk from the procedure. The only risks are with the techniques used for sperm retrieval, but they are negligible. Some known ICSI risk factors include:
It is because of these additional risks lot of doctors do not recommend the use of ICSI with every IVF cycle. It is understandable if ICSI is an absolute requirement for conceiving. If that is the case, make sure you consult your doctor regarding the advantages and disadvantages of using the technology. However, if it is possible to undergo an IVF cycle successfully, why should you risk something like a birth defect, no matter how negligible it is.
How successful the procedure completely depends on the individual patient and their health condition. Regardless, research shows that 25% of patients can conceive after just one attempt at ICSI. The procedure should be considered as a way to mingle the sperm and the egg, not as an assurance of pregnancy.
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