Learning about cases of male infertility nowadays is not anymore surprising when many years ago it would have been a cause for major debates. There has been a lot of treatment available to correct male infertility and one of which is the ICSI fertility treatment. It is known that around 10 to 15 percent of American couples are having difficulty conceiving.
What is ICSI and how can it boost fertility?
When you are trying to conceive, infertility becomes a huge issue especially when after a year, no successful pregnancy has taken place. A breakthrough in modern medicine to treat male infertility is called the Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) fertility treatment.
The ICSI fertility treatment is done by injecting a sperm into a single egg. It begins with a process similar to in vitro fertilization (IVF) where the male will provide a semen sample and the female’s eggs are retrieved with the use of a needle. This process is done in time with the female’s cycle. In cases where the male cannot produce a sperm sample, the doctor may use a needle aspiration to get the sperm by placing it into the testes and the sperm are extracted. This procedure can be painful so a shot of anesthesia may be needed to avoid pain.
To perform ICSI fertility treatment, the doctor will need a good number of sperm. If this is not achieved due to low sperm count of the male, a biopsy may be performed on the testicular tissue.
When the doctor has gotten the ideal number of sperm, a single sperm will be injected into the center of the egg or also called the cytoplasm. If this process is successful, the fertilized egg will be placed into the female’s uterus after 3 to 5 days. When the implantation has been done, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics or low-dose steroids to prevent the occurrence of an infection.
Who needs an ICSI fertility treatment?
ICSI fertility treatment is growing in popularity. However, this option is not instantly carried out without proper medical assessment from a qualified physician. If you and your partner are having trouble conceiving, ICSI fertility treatment may help you get pregnant. Check out if your partner has any of the following condition that will determine whether or not he may need to go through an ICSI fertility treatment:
- abnormal shape of the sperm
- ow sperm motility
- poor sperm quality
- low or less than ideal sperm count
- sperm that have trouble attaching itself to an egg
- inability to release sperm due to a blockage in the male reproductive tract
- a history of vasectomy
What are the risk factors of ICSI fertility treatment?
Recent studies found out that conceiving babies using ICSI may have the potential risk of birth defects or congenital abnormalities. Since ICSI is not a natural process of conception, there is a greater chance that an abnormal sperm can fertilize the egg thereby causing birth defects. While there is an increased evidence of birth defects resulting from an ICSI fertility treatment, however the risk itself is minimal.
There is also a greater chance of a multiple pregnancy when one would resort to ICSI fertility treatment. This risk is the same with IVF and about 30% to 35% have the risk of conceiving twins and 5% to 10% are at risk of producing triplets or more.
What is the current success rate of ICSI fertility treatment?
An estimated 80% of all ICSI procedures performed have successfully fertilized the egg. Once the egg has fertilized, you need to continue the process by placing the egg into the uterus so it can begin to grow and develop. Only 30% of women go right through to the end of the process and conceive healthy babies. This would mean that there is a 30% chance of successfully conceiving a healthy baby if you will complete the whole ICSI fertility treatment process.
ICSI fertility treatment is indeed a breakthrough in modern medicine. But because this method of treatment is still new, there is still little information known about it with regards to its long-term side effects. If you want to go through an ICSI fertility treatment, have a thorough talk with your doctor and learn as much as you can about this procedure.