Assisted reproductive treatmentsIntracytoplasmic Micro-Injection of Sperms (ICSI)

The ICSI, indicated in severe male factors, is a technique largely applied in assisted reproduction laboratories.

The Intracytoplasmic micro-injection of sperms consists of introducing, by using a micro-needle, a sperm in the egg cytoplasm. This complex process requires a lot of experience from the team of biologists.

After the ovulation stimulation and the follicle insertion during an In Vitro Fertilization cycle, we find, process and strip (“wash”) the oocytes that will finally be used in the micro-injection.

Only the oocytes having achieved the metaphase-II will be micro-injected (mature). The sperm micro-injection operation is technically very complicated and diagrammatically, consists of fixing the oocyte, collecting a sperm which was immobilized beforehand, and then introducing it in the egg cytoplasm without damaging it in the least bit. All this is done with a micromanipulator. After the micro-injection, the oocytes are stored in a biological incubator adjusted to 37ºC, containing a anhydride concentration of carbon and a humidity rate similar to the human body.

The ICSI is essentially implemented if the formation of embryos fails during the In Vitro Fertilization cycle performed by using a “classic” technique and in severe male factor cases. Our assisted reproduction center still performs this technique as a protocol (except if the IMSI is indicated).

Last Update: 05/09/2014
References:
– Palermo, G., Joris, H., Devroey, P., Van Steirteghem, A.C., 1992. Pregnancies after intracytoplasmic injection of single spermatozoon into an oocyte. Lancet 340, 17–18.
– Matorras R, Hernández J (eds): Estudio y tratamiento de la pareja estéril: Recomendaciones de la Sociedad Española de Fertilidad, con la colaboración de la Asociación Española para el Estudio de la Biología de la Reproducción, de la Asociación Española de Andrología y de la Sociedad Española de Contracepción. Adalia, Madrid 2007.
– Flaherty S, Payne D, Matthews C: Fertilization failures and abnormal fertilization after intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Hum Reprod 131: 155-164, 1998
– L.K. Smith et al. Treatment of mild/moderate male factor infertility with in vitro fertilization (IVF) instead of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): a ten-year retrospective analysis. Fertil Steril 2007; Volume 88, Supplement 1, Pages S116–S117.