Intracytoplasmic Sperm injection (ICSI)

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) was pioneered by Dr Gianpiero Palermo in 1992 and has revolutionized infertility treatment. Strictly speaking, ICSI does not treat infertility, but allows us to bypass some sperm or egg deficiencies that would otherwise render conception impossible.

Dr Dmitri Dozortsev, Reproductive Laboratory Director at our center, is credited with the invention of the mechanism of ICSI. His work has contributed greatly to the consistency of fertilization using this procedure. Dr Dozortsev is one of the most experienced embryologists in the country and is currently serving as President of American College of Embryology.

ICSI is performed during an In vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle, several hours after egg retrieval. During the ICSI procedure, a single sperm is injected directly into the center of the egg using a microscopic needle and an instrument known as a micromanipulator.

The sperm may be obtained from the male partner or in severe male factor infertility (extremely low sperm count), directly from the reproductive tract (MESA) or the testicles (TESA). Once the sperm is inserted into the egg, a high percentage of eggs will fertilize. ICSI is especially effective in cases of normal sperm but moderate to severe male factor infertility.

ICSI is indicated for the following patients or clinical situations:

  • Male infertility: low sperm count
  • Abnormally shaped sperm
  • Male or female antisperm antibodies
  • Frozen sperm obtained surgically
  • Prior IVF failure
  • Prior poor fertilization
  • Small number of retrieved eggs

At AFCT there is no extra charge for ICSI and it is applied strictly on merits. Since there are no known negative side effects to ICSI and conventional fertilization has about 5% failure rate even with normal sperm, we use ICSI to achieve pregnancy for most of our patients.

To schedule an appointment or to learn more about ICSI, please call (713)467-4488.