Couples that have tried to get pregnant for at least 12 months with no success may be good ICSI candidates. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has been beneficial for many couples who have undergone in vitro fertilization (IVF).
Fortunately, this treatment is available at the Los Angeles Reproductive Center in Los Angeles, CA. Today, our team will discuss this procedure in more detail, and explore advantages and candidacy.
When Should ICSI be Considered?
ICSI is commonly recommended when the sperm is unable to reach the egg, or the sperm is able to reach the egg, but cannot fertilize it. This treatment is particularly advantageous for those with male infertility issues and those who have attempted IUI or IVF with no results.
ICSI and Male Factor Infertility
At our practice, we commonly suggest ICSI for couples whose male partner has a low sperm count or other male infertility problems. For example, ICSI may be recommended when:
- Sperm are present in the testicles or epididymis but cannot be ejaculated. This is helpful when the male partner has undergone a vasectomy or when trauma or injury has occurred.
- A high number of sperm are abnormally shaped. Often, these sperm have much lower motility, which makes it difficult for them to reach the egg.
- The male partner has an issue with premature ejaculation or is unable to sustain a normal erection.
ICSI and Female Factor Infertility
Although ICSI is most routinely recommended to treat causes of male factor infertility, it can also be used in some cases of female factor infertility. For example, women with a low quality or quantity of eggs may benefit from intracytoplasmic sperm injection, as it has been proven to substantially increase the chances of successful conception in many cases.
Benefits of ICSI
The most significant advantage of ICSI is that this procedure can offer an increased chance for pregnancy even when severe male factor infertility is present. This treatment can be successful even in cases of:
- Low sperm count
- Poor sperm movement or shape
- Physical blockage
Risks of ICSI
As with any fertility treatment, ICSI carries some degree of risk. Some of the most common complications include:
- Embryo damage: While fertilization rates are high (50 to 80 percent) with ICSI, it is important to understand that not all fertilized eggs will develop into healthy embryos. Some will most likely become damaged during the ICSI treatment process.
- Becoming pregnant with multiples: There is a risk of having twins or multiples with IVF and ICSI. Women who carry multiples have an increased risk for complications, including high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, low amniotic fluid levels, cesarean section, or premature labor.
Find Out if ICSI Is Right for Your Family
Choosing fertility treatment is a significant decision, and one that requires a tremendous amount of thought and consideration. Before undergoing ICSI, be sure to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. By doing so, he or she can determine if you are an ICSI candidate.
For more information, contact us online or call us at (818) 946-8051.