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Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is an infertility treatment that involves injecting one sperm directly into an egg. ICSI is performed as part of an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) procedure.

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When to use ICSI

Doctors may recommend ICSI to treat many causes of infertility, especially when there is a problem with the sperm, such as low motility (movement) or a low sperm count. ICSI is especially useful in cases where the sperm cannot penetrate the female’s egg naturally or if the sperm are abnormally shaped.

The Process

The male partner will be asked to provide a semen sample, which will be collected by masturbation at an RMA office. Two to three days before, you should abstain from sex and masturbation in order to maximize semen quality. We will then evaluate the sperm and select the healthiest sperm for the ICSI procedure.

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What to Expect

After the eggs and sperm are collected, the ICSI process takes place in the lab where an RMA doctor or embryologist injects a single sperm into the cytoplasm (center) of each egg. After the eggs have been injected, we will observe the eggs for a day or so.

Next Steps

If the procedure is a success and fertilization occurs, we will discuss Single Embryo Transfer (SET). The transfer procedure is relatively simple and takes only a few minutes.

The doctor will place a speculum inside the vagina, insert a small catheter through the cervix into the uterine cavity, and transfer the embryo through the catheter. You may experience minimal discomfort from the transfer.

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Interpreting Results

A pregnancy blood test will be performed about two weeks after the embryo transfer. You will be called with the results a few days after the blood test.

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