The Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) procedure involves injecting an egg with one single sperm. This highly delicate procedure is performed under a microscope by a specially trained embryologist to ensure exactness. The fertilized egg is then incubated and transferred to the uterus in a manner similar to that of in vitro fertilization (IVF).
ICSI can offer hope when traditional IVF techniques have not worked due to problems associated with sperm.
The procedure is offered to men who have:
- A low sperm count (oligospermia)
- A low percentage of mobile sperm (asthenospermia)
- A high percentage of abnormally-shaped sperm or absence of sperm in the ejaculate (azoospermia) — In the case of azoospermia, it may be possible to retrieve sperm from urine or surgically from the testis.
- Have had a normal sperm analysis, but have anti-sperm antibodies
- A normal sperm analysis but failed fertilization in a previous attempt
Women who have a low number of eggs (low responders) also may be candidates for ICSI.