Summary: Microinjection (ICSI) is a fertilization method which injects a single sperm cell directly into an egg.
What is micro-injection?
ICSI resembles regular IVF. The difference is that the sperm is injected into the egg and are not just put in a dish together to fertilize.
Who is micro-injection for?
The ICSI fertilization method is used for almost half of all assisted reproduction treatments. The probability of success is as good as that of normal IVF, even when the man’s sperm quality is severely impaired.
We apply the method when
- The man has severely decreased sperm count
- The egg has not been fertilized through regular specimen fertilization (IVF)
ICIV – a mixture of IVF and ICSI
Sometimes, a rare time, we do something called ICIV. This means that half of the eggs are fertilized with regular in vitro fertilization (IVF) and half with Microinjection (ICSI). In this way, we do not have to interrupt the treatment if it appears that sperm cells cannot fertilize the egg or the egg will not be fertilized in the usual way. This approach is done after an assessment of a number of criteria.
How does treatment with micro-injection take place?
The process of micro-injection treatment is similar to regular in vitro fertilization (IVF), the only difference lies in the laboratory work.
1. Stimulation period
The woman is stimulated so she will develop more eggs than the one she usually produces in the month. This happens by taking medication through a small syringe under the skin just below her stomach. The stimulation period normally lasts 10-14 days.
2. Ultrasound examination
In the stimulation period, the woman comes for ultrasound examination, usually twice. If you live far away, a local gynecologist can perform the ultrasound. The ultrasound shows us how many egg sacks the woman produced and how big they have become. After another ultrasound, you will be told when the woman should use the ovulation syringe.
3. Egg extraction and implantation
About 36 hours after the ovulation syringe is set, you meet at the clinic to extract the eggs. In the laboratory, a mature egg is cleaned of egg white cells before the embryologist leads the sperm into the egg using a needle. They are allowed to grow and mature at the IVF laboratory before they are implanted back into the woman. This usually happens after 5 days when the embryo has reached the blastocyst stage.
4. Support Treatment and Pregnancy Test
In the days following egg extraction, the woman’s progesterone is increased, which is necessary for a successful pregnancy. After 14 days, a blood test will confirm if you have become pregnant.
5. The road ahead
If the test is positive, the next step is ultrasound examination after 5 weeks (i.e., Pregnancy Week 7). If you live far away, we can refer you to a local gynecologist or nearest hospital for the ultrasound. If the treatment is not successful, you will receive advice and guidance on the way forward, whether it is a new attempt or other solutions.
If you are unsure about anything, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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