ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection)
ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection), used alongside IVF, is a method most commonly used to overcome male infertility. Before ICSI revolutionized the world of male infertility in 1992, the only options to couples where the male partner had a low sperm count, a complete absence of sperm in his semen, or a host of other problems was to adopt, use a sperm donor or deal with the possibility of never having children. Understandably, many couples did not care for these limited options. ICSI is a procedure that allows couples, who in the past would have not been able to get pregnant with their own egg and sperm, to now bear their own biological children.
ICSI allows fertility specialists to fertilize an egg using just one sperm. The process is similar to IVF, but goes one step further. Using micromanipulation technology, instead of simply incubating the sperm and egg together in a petri dish, the egg is stabilized under a special microscope using a micro-suction instrument while a very fine pipette is used to inject a single selected sperm directly into the egg. This process bypasses the conventional IVF methods of fertilization, thereby ensuring that fertilization has taken place. The fertilized eggs are then left to culture for a few days before being transferred back to the woman's uterus.