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Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) – Infertility Treatments – Frisco, TX*

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Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is an assisted reproductive technology that may be used in conjunction with in vitro fertilization (IVF) at the Frisco Institute for Reproductive Medicine. During traditional IVF, each egg is placed in a Petri dish with more than 50,000 sperm in the hopes that one sperm will penetrate the egg’s outer shell to enter the cytoplasm, fertilizing the egg. During this procedure at FIRM, the female undergoes medication-induced ovarian stimulation to make mature eggs develop, which are then surgically retrieved through an outpatient procedure. The male’s semen (collected or donated) is prepared by centrifuging, which separates the live sperm from dead sperm and other debris in the semen. ICSI is a procedure used during IVF in which a single sperm is injected directly into the egg to increase the chances of fertilization. It is also used in cases where the ability of the sperm to penetrate the outer layer of the egg is in question because of the thickness or hardness of the egg itself.

If you would like to learn more about our technologies, or are considering infertility treatment, we suggest you make an appointment with one of our board-certified reproductive endocrinologists. You can build a team of infertility medical professionals in Frisco, McKinney, or Dallas, TX to help you understand your options and infertility, and educate yourself on the different procedures to attain pregnancy.

Considering ICSI?

ICSI is particularly effective for male factor infertility conditions. In some cases, the outer layer of the woman’s egg is too thick or hard for a sperm to be able to penetrate it under normal circumstances, a problem that ICSI bypasses. When previous attempts at IVF have not been successful, some patients may opt to try ICSI to improve their chances of fertilization, even if the man’s sperm quality is normal.

Men who have blockages in their reproductive tracts that keep sperm from releasing may be good candidates for ICSI. In addition, ICSI is effective for men whose sperm have the following issues:

  • Low quantity of sperm production
  • Variable counts of sperm quantity
  • Poor motility, making it difficult for the sperm to move through the female reproductive tract and/or the medium used for in vitro fertilization

ICSI Technique

After a successful surgical egg retrieval, a laboratory technician at FIRM will use a high-powered magnification and a micropipette (small needle) for the injection of one sperm into the egg. The ICSI technique injects the single sperm through the outer shell and into the cytoplasm of the egg, where the sperm must be to fertilize the egg. If fertilization is successful, embryos will develop that can be transferred into the woman’s uterus or frozen for use in a future IVF treatment cycle.

What to Expect

When ICSI is used, between 50 – 80 percent of inseminated eggs are successfully fertilized. Pregnancy success rates for embryos created using ICSI are the same as with traditional IVF.  Although ICSI greatly improves the chances of fertilization, it sometimes does not culminate in the development of a healthy embryo. The fertilized egg may not grow properly or may stop growing entirely. In less than 1 percent of cases, the ICSI process damages egg cells.

ICSI Risks

In ICSI, the needle used to insert the sperm can damage some of the eggs. There is a slightly higher chance of conceiving a baby with sex chromosome abnormalities with ICSI/IVF than the 1.5 – 3 percent chance involved in natural conception. However, researchers are unsure whether this increased risk is due to the sperm quality or the procedure itself. Men with very low sperm counts or azoospermia (no sperm in the ejaculate) have a higher risk of passing on genetic defects, and are encouraged to pursue genetic testing prior to ICSI.

A pregnancy achieved through ICSI that involves a fetus with genetic abnormalities is at increased risk of miscarriage. In less than 1 percent of children conceived using ICSI and IVF, certain conditions may occur, including:

  • Hypospadias (a urinary hole in males or females that is not in the proper place)
  • Sex chromosome abnormalities
  • Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, which increases risk of cancer and some congenital features
  • Angelman syndrome (severe disorders in physical and intellectual developmental)
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Recovery Time  
Average Procedure Time  
2 Hours
Post-op Follow-up  
1 Hour
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Educate Yourself at FIRM

We do a special educational session for our patients to learn about our IVF laboratory and ICSI procedures. You will learn how the ICSI injection is done, how the embryos are taken care of before injection, and how they are cultured. You will see videos to learn about the technologies we use. At FIRM, we believe all patients should understand all the aspects of their treatment and be comfortable with the decision that they’re making. We would like to help you make decisions and provide the resources, such as ICSI, to treat your infertility conditions, if possible.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.