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Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

The New York Fertility Center

Reproductive Endocrinologists located in Downtown Flushing Queens, Flushing, NY & Flatiron in Manhattan, New York, NY

When you learn you’re infertile and begin searching for successful treatment, you’ll encounter a lot of complex-sounding procedures — like intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) — that are simpler than they sound and very effective. Dr. Tony Tsai at The New York Fertility Center is an expert in diverse treatment options for infertility, including ICSI, which increases the chance for successful in vitro fertilization when couples face male factor infertility. To learn more about ICSI, call one of the offices in Manhattan or Flushing, New York, or book a consultation online.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) Q & A

What is intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)?

ICSI is a common technique used to fertilize eggs by injecting a single sperm into a mature egg. The technique effectively increases fertilization rates during in vitro fertilization for couples whose infertility is caused by problems with sperm.

Who can benefit from intracytoplasmic sperm injection?

ICSI is the best choice, or a necessity, when you can’t get pregnant due to male factor infertility. That means your infertility is due to:

  • Low sperm count
  • Poor sperm motility
  • Obstructive azoospermia (blocked ducts or an ejaculation problem)
  • High numbers of abnormal sperm

Dr. Tsai may recommend ICSI when sperm fail to fertilize eggs during previous IVF attempts. It’s also a good solution for men whose semen doesn’t contain any sperm, a condition called azoospermia, because sperm can be retrieved directly from their testicles. Some couples choose to use ICSI during IVF even when they’re not affected by male factor infertility.

How is intracytoplasmic sperm injection performed?

ICSI follows a typical IVF procedure, beginning with taking medications to increase the number of mature eggs that develop in the ovaries.

When you use fertility medication, Dr. Tsai continually monitors your ovaries with ultrasounds and blood tests to determine when your eggs mature; then they’re removed using a minimally invasive procedure.

Sperm retrieval depends on the underlying problem with the sperm. Surgical retrieval may be necessary when the ducts are blocked, or seminal fluid that’s ejaculated doesn’t contain enough sperm. Dr. Tsai may aspirate sperm from the area where they’re blocked or perform a biopsy to remove sperm-containing tissue from the testicles.

In the laboratory, Dr. Tsai uses a microscope to select individual sperm, then injects one sperm into each egg. Dr. Tsai can inject multiple eggs, as long as healthy sperm are available and the eggs are mature.

Your eggs can be checked for fertilization the next day, but Dr. Tsai waits several days before choosing an embryo to transfer into your uterus. After about five days, and before transfer to your uterus, Dr. Tsai can remove a few cells from the embryos if you’d like testing to detect genetic disorders and chromosomal abnormalities.

ICSI is very effective for couples faced with male factor infertility. If you have any questions about ICSI or you’d like to schedule an infertility evaluation, call The New York Fertility Center or book an appointment online.