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. Our team 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.

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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

Our team at NYFC 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, our team at NYFC continually monitors your ovaries with ultrasounds and blood tests to determine when your eggs mature. Once they’re ready, the eggs are 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 when the seminal fluid that’s ejaculated doesn’t contain enough sperm. Our team 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, our specialists use a microscope to select individual sperm, then inject one sperm into each egg. Multiple eggs can be injected, as long as healthy sperm are available and the eggs are mature.

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