ICSI (‘Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection’) is the most accurate fertilisation technique available. It is carried out by selecting a single spermatozoon, which is introduced into the egg with a special microneedle. This technique has made it possible to achieve fertilisation in couples with poor sperm quality.
Who is it for?
- Men with low sperm quality (low sperm concentration, poor mobility or morphology)
- Patients with cryopreserved samples
- Patients with azoospermia or who have had a vasectomy
- Women without a male partner who perform a donor semen treatment.
Several eggs are extracted from the patient for fertilization in the laboratory. To do this, the patient receives a hormonal treatment that will stimulate the growth of the ovarian follicles, in which the eggs are contained. After approximately 10 days, the follicular puncture is programmed and is carried out in the operating theatre with the patient sedated.
The differential point with respect to conventional IVF. Instead of depositing the egg in a glass plate next to the semen sample, it is the embryologist who directly chooses the highest quality sperm for fertilization. The choice is based on criteria such as morphology or mobility of each sperm.
Each egg is placed on a plate at 37ºC, and a single sperm is introduced into it using a special micro-needle.
After fertilization, the embryos are cultured for five days until they reach the blastocyst stage, after which the best quality ones are selected to be transferred to the patient.
Will I be able to live a normal life during treatment?
During the treatment it is possible to have abdominal discomfort and a feeling of swelling, but the vast majority of patients can continue with their normal life. The only day when it is advisable to remain at home is the day of the follicular puncture, since this procedure requires the administration of sedation. The following day it is possible to return to work without any problems.
When does the implantation take place? What should I do after the transfer?
The implantation of the embryo should occur within 3 days after the embryo transfer, so it is recommended to continue with normal life but avoid major efforts especially in these early days. In addition, it is of vital importance to continue with the medication guidelines indicated by the gynecologist.