Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) | Dr. Hakan Özörnek

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

What is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)?

In the conventional in vitro fertilization (IVF) system, sperm and egg cells are brought together, and the fertilization of the egg by the sperm is awaited. However, if the quantity, motility, or normal structure of sperm cells (morphology) is insufficient for the fertilization of the egg, a special tool is used to inject a single sperm cell, taken into a thin glass needle, directly into the egg cell under a microscope, ensuring fertilization. This procedure is called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), representing a distinct application within the IVF methods. Patient monitoring and follow-up are the same as in the conventional IVF method.

How is ICSI performed?

Sperm is injected into the egg under a microscope to achieve fertilization. ICSI is a specialized form of IVF that uses powerful microscopes and micromanipulators. An embryologist holds an egg with the help of a thin glass pipette and introduces the sperm into the egg using a needle seven times thinner than human hair. The fertilization success rate with the ICSI method is around 80% for each injected egg.

Who is eligible for ICSI?

Low sperm count, motility, or normal sperm percentage (morphology): These problems can occur separately or together. ICSI can be applied when the quality of sperm is insufficient for the conventional IVF method.

Sperm antibodies: In some cases, substances called antibodies are produced in the female body against sperm cells. These antibodies can prevent sperm from fertilizing the egg. In such cases, depending on the quantity and characteristics of the antibodies, ICSI treatment may be considered as the primary option.

Patients with IVF failures: In cases where fertilization is less than 10% in IVF patients.

Cases requiring surgical sperm retrieval: When sperm is obtained from the epididymis or testicular tissue.

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