Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ICSI, is a form of fertilization used in Assisted Reproductive Technology where sperm are individually selected and then injected into each mature egg. Here at Conceptions, we use ICSI as our sole method of fertilization, forgoing conventional insemination.
Conventional insemination involves adding an aliquot of sperm to a drop of media containing the eggs. Fertilization happens naturally, which means it may not happen at all or it may happen incorrectly, such as more than one sperm fertilizing the egg. There is no way to confirm that a sperm did enter an egg that is not fertilized. Also, nothing more can be done for those eggs that did not fertilize or that fertilized incorrectly.
Individual sperm are selected for ICSI based on morphology, the shape of the sperm, and motility, allowing our embryologists to ensure that high quality sperm from each sample are used for fertilization. ICSI allows the lab to bypass some male factor issues completely by placing the sperm directly into the egg. This process also allows for a more diagnostic look at fertilization because we can ensure that each egg receives one sperm.
Another benefit of using 100% ICSI at Conceptions can be seen in the high number of Preimplantation Genetic Screening cases performed. ICSI allows the lab to get a much cleaner sample for genetic testing by ensuring there is no extraneous DNA present from sperm bound to the outer shell of the egg. This decreases the number of rebiopsies needed to obtain genetic results prior to transfer. All of these benefits of ICSI streamline the process of IVF allowing our patients a shorter turn around time between the start of IVF treatment to pregnancy.
~Embryology Department 4/23/17