ICSI – Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection

ICSI is one of the most commonly known treatments after IVF (in-vitro fertilisation). It is a sophisticated form of IVF that overcomes any issues that prevent the sperm from fertilising the egg naturally.

ICSI Treatment

ICSI is done in the Embryology Laboratory and involves injecting Sperm into Eggs using high magnification. The needle used is more than 10 times as thin as a human hair.

Once you have chosen to have ICSI treatment you will be given follicle stimulating drugs which will increase the production of eggs within the body, maximising the number of eggs available for fertilisation. Scans will reveal the optimum time for these eggs to be collected and you will be asked to attend the clinic on a specific day for these eggs to be collected under sedation. The process for you would be the same as with standard IVF.

The difference between IVF and ICSI is that with IVF eggs and sperm are mixed together in a test tube or petri dish, whilst with ICSI sperm are injected into eggs. With ICSI one sperm is injected into each egg collected. As seen in this video:

A sperm sample is obtained on the day of egg collection or where applicable in advance under sedation using surgical techniques such as PESA or TESE otherwise known as Surgical Sperm Retrieval – SSR.

Our expert team of andrologists and embryologists select the best single sperm to inject directly into the egg, from this point of fertilisation an embryo then develops.

Why would I need ICSI?

ICSI can be very effective in treating:

  • Abnormal semen analysis or sperm test results
  • Low sperm counts
  • Sub-optimal sperm function including motility, sperm count, abnormal forms
  • Total absence of sperm in the semen or irreversible vasectomy (in conjunction with SSR)
  • Damaged or absent vas deferens
  • Retrograde ejaculation
  • You are using donor eggs in your treatment
  • You are using your own frozen eggs in your treatment
  • Immunological factors (such as very high white blood cell count in semen)
  • Other conditions preventing egg fertilisation

PICSI – Physiological Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

PICSI is a technique used to improve the selection of sperm in comparison to conventional ICSI.

The technique can offer good results especially where there are issues with the quality of the sperm.

The key success indicator in ICSI is the selection of a good quality sperm but ICSI alone is not able to identify a sperm with good DNA quality.

PICSI selects sperm that are reportedly more mature, with better DNA quality. Good sperm DNA quality is essential for generating a viable pregnancy, with evidence suggesting poor DNA quality can affect success rates.

The use of PICSI may reduce the chance of miscarriage for a select group of patients, namely those with a history of miscarriage or advanced maternal age and is available as an addition to the ICSI procedure in a cycle of IVF treatment. Your consultant will discuss whether the use of PICSI is something which should be considered for your treatment.

The charge for PICSI is £250 in addition to the ICSI procedure charge of £1260.

HFEA link https://www.hfea.gov.uk/treatments/treatment-add-ons/physiological-intracytoplasmic-sperm-injection-picsi/

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