In vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the most effective method of treating infertility and the only way to get pregnant for women who do not have the ability to get pregnant naturally. This can be caused by diseases to congenital anomalies of male and female reproductive systems.
IVF with ICSI
Before the start of IVF Programs, reproduction biologists of the Medical Center ADONIS prescribes an individual treatment plan for patients and a list of obligatory medical examinations.
In order to improve the effectiveness of IVF programs, embryologists of Medical Center carry out intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
Under laboratory conditions, using the newest special equipment, embryologists of Medical Center ADONIS carry out the cultivation of embryos for 3-5 days. The best quality embryos are transferred to the uterine cavity of a woman according to the reproduction biologists’ recommendations about a suitable day for implantation.
Preparatory stage before IVF
1 stage: Stimulation of ovulation.
2 stage: Puncture and fertilization.
3 stage: Cultivation and transfer of embryos.
4 stage: Maintenance of luteal phase for HCG result.
5 stage: Ultrasound confirmation of fetal heartbeat.
Coordinators of the International Department will organize everything for all visits, including pick-up from the airport and the rental of a hotel room/apartment. Medical Center staff will accompany patients to insure a pleasant journey and successful treatment.
What’s the difference between IVF with ICSI and Conventional IVF Fertilization
Both IVF with ICSI and conventional IVF are subtypes of IVF.
Conventional IVF was developed to circumvent female fertility problems such as blockages in the Fallopian tubes, endometriosis, or when previous IUI cycles were not successful. If using conventional fertilization, eggs are placed in media drops and sperm is then added to those drops. This allows the sperm to penetrate the egg’s outside shell and deposit the male’s DNA into the egg’s cytoplasmic matrix, hopefully resulting in fertilization of the egg.
IVF with ICSI is a more recent technology developed with male factor infertility in mind, allowing men with low sperm count (oligozoospermia) or immotile sperm (asthenozoospermia) to father a child. During traditional IVF, many sperm are placed together with an egg in hopes that one of the sperm will enter and fertilize the egg on its own. With ICSI, the embryologist takes a single sperm and injects it directly into an egg. Today ICSI is widely used in fertility clinics and is typically the method of choice even in cases where male infertility isn’t a factor.
The ICSI technique fertilizes on average 50-80% of the eggs that are injected, whereas conventional IVF fertilizes around 50% of eggs.
IVF with ICSI has the ability to achieve good reproductive outcomes in cases where traditional IVF would not, however in cases where male infertility is not an issue, multiple studies have demonstrated fertilization and pregnancy success rates with ICSI are equivalent to standard insemination by IVF.
The success rates of each method are highly dependent on the skill of the embryologist, egg and sperm quality, and the overall health and causes of infertility in both partners. All things being equal, one method is not better than the other. The choice of ICSI or traditional IVF is highly dependent on the specifics of each individual case. If there are a limited number of eggs, ICSI often preferred because it optimizes the odds as the highest quality sperm are selected. When donor sperm or eggs are used, ICSI is often considered unnecessary because the quality of both gametes is so high.
Whether you opt for IVF with ICSI or conventional IVF, the ovarian stimulation and egg retrieval process remains the same, only the fertilization process itself is different. With both techniques, the eggs are checked the morning after to determine whether fertilization has occurred.
After the eggs are determined to be fertilized, they are called embryos. The embryos are in special petri dishes for the next 2-6 days, allowing cells to divide and grow. Once the embryos reach the proper growth stage, they are transferred back to the female patient’s uterus to establish a pregnancy.
Male factor infertility isn’t the only reason for choosing ICSI.
It also may be recommended:
- If previous IVF cycles produced few or no fertilized eggs;
- If using frozen sperm and thawed sperm don’t appear active;
- If using frozen eggs – the process of vitrification can sometimes harden the egg’s outer shell making fertilization challenging;
- If doing preimplantation genetic testing , ICSI is generally recommended because additional sperm near the embryo can interfere with results.
- To simply achieve a higher chance of fertilization.
Since IVF with ICSI sounds like a sure thing, many people wonder what would prevent fertilization from occurring. Assuming there is not a technical reason for the failure, there are a couple factors that may explain why fertilization doesn’t happen:
- The egg may not have survived after the injection of sperm. This can happen if the eggs are post-mature or if they matured just prior to ICSI. Poor egg quality can also be a factor in the failure to fertilize.
- The sperm head may not have decondensed. If the DNA of the sperm remains locked in the sperm head then fertilization fails to occur or there is abnormal fertilization.
- The egg may not have been activated and didn’t participate in the intracellular steps of fertilization. This is a common reason for fertilization failure after ICSI.