Before trying a relatively new procedure or a treatment, some patients are concerned about the success rate of the treatment. Some patients still question doctors regarding the success rate of the Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). They also show concern regarding the risk and the safety aspects of ICSI. This is quite understandable.
Doctors invite patients to ask questions and get total clarity regarding the treatment, its procedure and the different steps that they will have to go through. Clarifying fears and apprehensions at the onset of the treatment is preferable. It makes the patients feel easy and comfortable and helps in achieving a better success rate.
The ICSI is a technique that is highly recommended for male infertility. It is more highly recommended than Intrauterine Insemination. The IUI treatment is very popular but has a very low success rate. The ICSI, on the other hand, has a very high fertilisation success rate. This treatment, however, is more expensive and involves a greater number of procedures as compared to the IUI treatment, before a successful pregnancy.
The Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is a process in which the sperm is injected directly into the egg for fertilisation. This process is conducted in the lab. The success rate of the ICSI procedure is as high as 80% or more. This means that most of the eggs will fertilise when the embryologist uses the ICSI technique. The alternate technique which was earlier practised commonly was to place the egg and sperm together and allow the sperm to penetrate the egg by itself. This had a lower success rate as sometimes the sperm were not able to penetrate the egg.
Some males have azoospermia, which is a condition in which they have no sperm count. In this case, the sperm can be retrieved from the testes through a surgical procedure. Since acquiring the sperm is not easy to process, doctors do not want to risk IUI treatment and prefer to use the ICSI technique, which has a high success rate of fertilisation and pregnancy.
Azoospermia is caused due to an obstruction in the post testicular ductal system which does not allow the sperm to be present in the ejaculate. Another type of azoospermia is the non-obstructive type and is caused by hormonal abnormalities or genetic abnormalities.
Vasectomy is performed on males who do not want to have children. If at a later stage they decide that they do want to have children there are two options available. They can either have a vasectomy reversal, or they can opt for a sperm aspiration. Sperm aspiration is a surgical procedure to remove the sperm from the testes. This sperm can then be used for intracytoplasmic sperm injection procedure to fertilise the egg.
ICSI is the best hope for males with poor quality sperm. Males with very poor sperm motility were not able to make their partner pregnant. Poor sperm motility refers to a condition where the sperm has very little movement or a very limited movement. To make a female pregnant, the sperm have to be able to travel to the egg. It is a long journey from the cervix to the fallopian tubes where the female egg is waiting for fertilisation.
The IUI treatment is not very helpful for males with poor sperm motility. In the IUI treatment, the sperm is injected into the female partner’s uterus. The sperm has to make their way to the fallopian tubes, find the egg and fertilise it within the ovulation window. Sperms with poor motility are not even able to make the short journey and hence the IUI treatment is not very successful for poor sperm motility. In the ICSI procedure, the sperm motility does not matter as the sperm is directly injected into the egg.
The ICSI procedure has been a great boon to the world of male infertility. It not only offers hope but has an extremely high fertilisation rate, which offers higher success rates for the In Vitro Fertilisation treatment.