Intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI for severe male factor infertility has been a tremendous benefit to assisted reproductive technology for over a decade.
ICSI has revolutionized the treatment for couples who have severe male infertility. With ‘conventional’ IVF, processed sperm is combined with the eggs, and the sperm naturally swim up to and penetrate the egg. With ICSI, a single healthy sperm is selectively injected into the egg. This effectively causes fertilization to occur. Prior to the development and advancement of ICSI, it would not be unusual for a couple with severe male factor to have very poor or absent fertilization with conventional IVF. Now couples with severe male factor often have equivalent pregnancy rates to couples without a male factor.
Some severe male factor conditions requiring ICSI
- Men with a very poor semen analysis, which may include a low concentration, poor motility, or poor morphology (shapes of the sperm)
- Couples who have had poor fertilization with ‘conventional’ IVF on a previous cycle
- Men who have non-obstructive azoospermia. These men produce sperm in low quantity and have absence of sperm in the ejaculate. They require a testicular biopsy to obtain sperm that can be used for the IVF/ICSI cycle. Some men who have had certain types of chemotherapy may have compromised sperm production and are in this category.
- Men with congenital bilateral absence of the vas deferens (CBAVD). These men produce sperm, but are born without a vas deferens, part of the outflow tract. These men will require either a testicular of epididymal biopsy to retrieve their sperm.
- Men who have had vasectomies. If a man has had a vasectomy and does not wish to have a reversal, a testicular or epididymal biopsy can be done to obtain sperm that can then be used for IVF/ICSI.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection – ICSI
The chance of having a successful outcome with an IVF/ICSI cycle is contingent on the quality of the eggs and sperm, as well as the skill of the embryology staff performing the ICSI. Our senior embryology staff have a combined experience of having performed ICSI on over 40,000 oocytes. In addition, the facility in which the embryology staff works is of paramount importance. Dallas IVF facilities are among the most modern in the world and use the cleanest ‘clean rooms’ that have been certified by AlphaEnvironmental, an internationally recognized air filtration company. This credentialing, granted to only a few labs in the country, certifies that our air quality is extremely pure.