Two of the most common fertility treatments are IVF, which means In Vitro Fertilisation and ICSI, which stands for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection.
ICSI is quite similar to IVF because both methods require eggs and sperm to be collected from each partner, for fertilisation performed outside of the body. The difference between these two procedures is the way in which fertilisation is achieved…
With IVF treatment the eggs and sperm are mixed together in a laboratory dish. The sperm then naturally penetrates and fertilises the egg. The fertilised egg is then returned to the woman’s womb in the hope that it will grow and develop into a successful pregnancy.
ICSI is a fertility treatment where a single sperm is picked up with a very fine needle and injected directly into the cytoplasm (or the inside of the egg). This fertilised egg is then transferred back to the womb, in the same way as the IVF procedure above.
After semen analysis ICSI treatment may be recommended if deficiencies have been identified and the sperm is not likely to fertilise an egg naturally. This can be due to a number of reasons, including low sperm count, sperm abnormalities or because previous IVF treatment has resulted in failed fertilisation. Additionally if sperm has been frozen or surgically removed from the testis, we would expect this sperm to need the help of ICSI in order to penetrate an egg.
If you are concerned about your fertility, but unsure about what action to take, please get in touch to book an initial consultation. The initial consultation is a good way to see us for the first time and can be enormously useful in avoiding unnecessary tests and treatments. We believe in doing the minimum to be effective and we will always advise you, every step of the way.