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ICSI – Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) involves the direct injection of a single sperm into each egg under direct microscopic vision. ICSI makes it possible to fertilize eggs with sperm derived from men with the severest degrees of male infertility.

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In cases of absent Vas deferens (sperm collecting ducts), obstructed Vasa deferentia (ducts carrying sperm from testicles to the urethra for ejaculation), or impotency, ICSI can be performed with sperm obtained through Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) or Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA). In such cases, the birth rate is usually no different than when IVF is performed for indications other than male infertility. The successful performance of ICSI requires a high level of technical expertise by those in the embryology lab.

Success Rates

The success rate varies depending on the cause and ranges between 35-50% per cycle. No major differences in birth, behavior problems, or parental stress were found between the children conceived with infertility treatments and those conceived naturally.

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Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI) is a relatively new technique used by our fertility doctors to treat male infertility. It is recommended for patients who had two or more unsuccessful ICSI attempts and those males with abnormally shaped sperm. Using this new technology enables couples to achieve higher rates of implantation and decreased chances of miscarriages. This treatment method is used when ICSI is performed. However, by looking at sperm using much higher magnifications, coupled with a digital imaging system, it has recently become possible to identify structures within the sperm head known as vacuoles. The presence of these sperm head vacuoles relates to an increased incidence of poor DNA arrangement within the sperm.

Recent research has shown that sperm selection using IMSI is associated with better embryo quality, higher pregnancy, and lower miscarriage rates.

IMSI may be useful for the following patient groups:

  • Male partners over 35 years
  • Men with higher abnormally formed sperm
  • Women who have not had good quality embryos in previous cycles
  • Couples with previous unsuccessful treatment cycles
  • Women with a history of miscarriages