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The Center for Fertility and Gynecology

What Is ICSI IVF?

By Paula Hovell on July 03, 2021

a vial and lab equipmentIn vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment has made it possible for many couples who struggle with infertility to have children and experience the joys of parenthood. 

For some couples, combining IVF with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can help increase the chances of conception over using traditional IVF alone. At the Center for Fertility and Gynecology, Dr. Michael Vermesh and Dr. Tannaz Toloubeydokhti offer ICSI IVF for patients in Los Angeles, CA, Tarzana, CA, Bakersfield, CA, and surrounding areas. To find out if ICSI IVF might be right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation. 

What Is ICSI IVF?

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is a procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into a single egg. 

ICSI is performed by selecting individual sperm based on characteristics such as their shape and movement. A single egg is then held in place with a special pipette and a needle is used to gently transfer the sperm into the egg.  

The fertilized egg is then left to incubate for several days. Once sufficiently matured, the embryo can then be transferred to the woman’s uterus as done with traditional IVF. 

Why Is ICSI Performed?

In traditional IVF, a large quantity of sperm and an egg are placed in a laboratory dish with the goal of fertilization. Fertilization occurs when a sperm enters the egg by penetrating through the egg’s outer layer. Sometimes sperm have difficulty penetrating the egg and fertilization does not occur. This can happen for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s an issue with the sperm or the egg, and sometimes it’s for reasons unknown. 

When sperm have difficulty fertilizing eggs through traditional IVF, ICSI IVF may be able to help. Because a single sperm is directly injected into an egg, ICSI can help overcome issues that prevent sperm from penetrating eggs.  

Is ICSI IVF Right for You?

ICSI IVF can help couples facing a variety of fertility problems overcome infertility and successfully conceive. If you or your partner have been diagnosed or may have the following fertility issues, ICSI IVF may be right for your needs. 

  • Sperm motility issues: Sperm with motility issues, such as moving too slowly or not in a normal way, can make it difficult for sperm to fertilize an egg. 
  • Low sperm count: A low sperm count can make it difficult to naturally become pregnant or to fertilize an egg through traditional IVF. With ICSI, a single sperm is selected and directly placed within an egg which can help with low sperm count. 
  • Male reproductive issues: Male reproductive issues, such as a blockage in the reproductive system as a result of repeated infections or a vasectomy, can prevent sperm from exiting the body. 
  • No fertilized eggs after traditional IVF: If traditional IVF has not yielded fertilized eggs, ICSI may be successful.
  • Issues with eggs: Sometimes issues with eggs can impact fertilization, such as mature eggs.  

Schedule a Consultation 

If you and your partner are having difficulty conceiving, treatment from the Center for Fertility and Gynecology can help. Call (818) 881-9800 to schedule a consultation.

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