Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

ICSI is used to assist fertilization.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) involves placing several thousand sperm and eggs together in a culture dish and allowing the sperm to fertilize the eggs. The dishes are kept in an incubator overnight and examined under a microscope the next following morning for signs of fertilization. Normal sperm parameters on a semen analysis predict a fertilization rate of 65-70% for most patients. For patients with abnormalities on semen analysis, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is used to assist fertilization.

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ICSI Procedure Explained

In this procedure, an extremely small needle is used to inject a single sperm into the center of the cytoplasm of each egg under microscopic guidance. This technique has been used in human IVF since the early 1990s. ICSI has dramatically changed the treatment of male factor infertility. The fertilization rates with sperm injection average 70% regardless of the severity of the male factor. This technique is used for men with severely depressed sperm parameter, men with absent or blocked vas deferens, in cases where sperm is aspirated directly from the epididymis or testicle, and in cases with history of failed fertilization with IVF. The pregnancy rates with IVF/ICSI are the equivalent of those couples without male factor infertility who have standard IVF.

For patients whose condition requires the surgical extraction of sperm, we work closely with several specialty-trained Infertility Urologists in the Los Angeles area who can perform the procedure in our surgical facility.

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