Fighting the Stigma of an ICSI Procedure

Photo of a smiling happy dad with a curly haired baby on his shoulders

There’s no denying a stigma exists around male infertility. If you or someone you know is struggling with male factor infertility, they should know that they aren’t alone and that it’s far more common than they might think. About 1 in 6 couples struggle to conceive, and 40-50% of infertility cases are related to male factor infertility. Male infertility does not mean that your chances of conceiving are gone, it just means that there are more roadblocks along the way. Luckily, fertility treatments have advanced enough that there is a way to make pregnancy more likely. ICSI is a procedure that can improve the chances of pregnancy by increasing the likelihood that the sperm will fertilize the egg. 

Who can benefit from ICSI? 

ICSI may be recommended to you if you are experiencing male factor infertility. What impacts male factor infertility? The condition is caused by several issues including, abnormal sperm production, motility, blockage of delivery of sperm, or low sperm production. 

Graphic showing 6 bullet points on how the ICSI procedure can help men who are struggling with fertility issues.

What does the ICSI procedure involve?

ICSI is short for intracellular sperm injection and is an additional procedure performed as part of IVF. As part of the ICSI procedure, sperm is collected either through microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA) or percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA). Although Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility does not offer this specific service, we can refer excellent doctors and resources that will help you.

After the sperm is collected, the next step is to inject the sperm into a mature egg. Once the sperm fertilizes the egg, we transfer the embryo into the woman’s uterus to begin the pregnancy process.

Please note that, like all fertility treatments, success is not 100% guaranteed, however, ICSI is a very effective treatment. For reference, this procedure fertilizes 50% to 80% of eggs. 

What are the risks of the ICSI procedure? 

While ICSI is an incredible procedure that has helped countless couples successfully conceive, there have been some misconceptions about the level of risk associated with it. Research conducted about the risks of ICSI found that there is a slightly increased risk of birth defects. Though, this risk can be comparable to the risk associated with IVF without ICSI. In both cases, the risk of birth defects is marginally higher than natural conception. Additionally, we can conduct comprehensive prenatal genetic testing to ensure the quality of the embryo and provide the safest, most effective fertility solutions. However, it is the position of Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility to not push for this testing, unless something runs in the family that makes it a justifiable pursuit. 

When you visit us at Arizona Center for Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility in Tucson, AZ, you can feel confident that you are receiving the highest quality service to address your individual situation. One of our favorite aspects of our job is helping hopeful parents-to-be experience the beauty and joy of parenthood. Our fertility experts train for years to make sure they offer you the best advice and treatment. We focus on pinpointing the issue, walking you through your options, and providing reliable solutions. If you have any lingering questions about the ICSI procedure or IVF, set up an appointment today by calling 520-326-0001. We are here to discuss your situation at length so we can help you discover the best path to pregnancy.

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