Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a type of fertility treatment, similar to In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). In the process, the sperm is directly injected into the egg, before placing it into the female’s uterus.
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An ICSI process is very similar to an IVF cycle, with one major difference. In an IVF procedure the sperms and eggs are placed together and left to fertilise on their own, whereas in an ICSI procedure an embryologist injects a single sperm into the egg, thus improving the chances of fertilisation.
Here are the steps of a cycle:
Following implantation, regular check-ins with your doctor are needed to monitor the pregnancy. 2 weeks after you will know whether or not the implantation was successful.
Make sure to have an initial consultation with your doctor, to talk about your medical history, all possible options and your motivations for undergoing the procedure.
ICSI does not ensure a successful pregnancy and there are risks associated with it, such as sex chromosome associated defects in your child and an increased risk of miscarriage. You may also experience fertility medication related side effects such as mood swings, tenderness in your breasts, bloating, and hot flashes. Additionally, as the process is very personal, it is understandable that you will be stressed and anxious. Make sure to always talk to your family, friends, or doctor, and engage in activities that you enjoy. Also, maintain a healthy lifestyle.
As any fertility treatment, ICSI has varying success rates and they depend on your age, your health status and related factors. Do not lose heart if ICSI does not work for you, there are many other treatments possible.