This is a laboratory fertilization procedure, used in cases where sperm cannot fertilize the egg and fertilization needs to be performed manually. The preparatory process is the same as with standard IVF. Fertility drugs are administered, stimulating the ovaries to develop several eggs. Eggs and sperm are collected for fertilization in the laboratory. In some cases of men presenting with complete failure of sperm production, a small surgical procedure may be required for sperm retrieval.
In the laboratory, under a powerful microscope, a single sperm is selected and placed inside the egg by microinjection. A retaining pipette is used to immobilize the egg on one side, and a thin glass needle containing the selected sperm is introduced from the opposite side; the sperm is then released into the cytoplasm.
After the procedure, eggs are placed in cell culture and checked for signs of fertilization. Fertilized eggs develop into embryos, which are transferred into the uterus as in standard IVF, a few days later.
This technique presents a significant advantage in cases of severe male infertility. It is a relatively recent technique, first used in 1992. In most cases of male infertility, the spermatozoa are unable to penetrate the zona pellucida of the egg; therefore fertilization, either in vivo, or in vitro, is not possible. With the technique of intracytoplasmic sperm injection very few sperm cells are needed and their penetrating ability is indifferent. The fertilization rate per egg is 70% with this technique.
The technique may be applied in any type of male infertility, including abnormalities in number, quality or function of sperm. It may also be indicated in cases where a previous standard IVF attempt did not yield any fertilized eggs, despite normal sperm parameters.
IVF REFERRAL FORM