Dr Asha Baxi, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospital, explains ICSI in detail and talks about the different factors and the processes involved in the treatment.
ICSI or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is a process that is done to encourage pregnancy in women. Before fertilisation, the head of the sperm must get attached to the outside of the egg. The sperm then pushes through the outer layer into the inside of the egg where fertilisation occurs. In some cases, the outer layer is too thick or hard for the sperm to penetrate or in other cases, the sperm may not be able to swim. In such instances, ICSI or IVF procedures are implemented.
There are two types of treatments to encourage fertility. They are IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) and ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection). The key difference between the IVF and the ICSI procedures is that in the IVF procedure multiple sperms are collected and left in a petri dish to fertilise. Meanwhile, the ICSI procedure is done to directly inject the sperm into the egg.
This procedure can also be used for couples who have gone through poor or no fertilisation rates through IVF. “Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is generally recommended to couples who have been diagnosed with male fertility issues. This includes low sperm count, low sperm morphology or motility, anti-sperm antibodies, or anyone who has gone through a vasectomy or an unsuccessful vasectomy reversal.”
Fertilisation and implantation rates were significantly higher in IVF compared to the people who went through the ICSI procedure. Chemical and clinical pregnancy rates are statistically higher in those who went through the IVF procedure compared to ICSI. Although the use of ICSI has been estimated as a highly advanced procedure it does not improve fertilisation, implantation and chemical rates, and is not recommended in non-male factor, normozoospermic patients.