ICSI stands for intracytoplasmic sperm injection - a process that addresses male infertility. This type of procedure is known as an Assisted Reproductive Technology Generally, the procedure is used during IVF (in vitro fertilization) treatments by injecting sperm into a mature egg for development. Following the fertilization procedure, the egg is placed into the mother's womb or fallopian tube for implantation.
ICSI is a popular treatment for men whose sperm count is too low or inadequate to ensure fertilization of eggs. The process utilizes specialized equipment and tools, but is an effective treatment for many couples dealing with infertility issues due to a variety of causes.
Who Benefits from ICSI Treatments?
In some cases, medical practitioners or clinics will suggest ICSI treatments for couples dealing with low sperm counts or inability to fertilize the egg. It's an ideal solution for couples that are not interested in donor sperm. In most cases ICSI treatments are geared toward those with:
Common ICSI Procedure Overview
Eggs are collected from the potential mother's fallopian tubes or ovary. Using a high-powered magnification device, the doctor will use an injection pipet to deposit one sperm into the egg, which is held in place with a glass tool called a holding pipet. The egg or eggs are then left overnight in a laboratory and checked the following day. After the eggs have been checked for successful fertilization, they will be left to develop for several more days. Then, two to four fertilized eggs are placed in the uterus for implantation.
Other or additional eggs may be frozen at this point in time in the event that more than one attempt or ICSI cycle is necessary for growth and development of the egg once it has been implanted in the uterus. These procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and necessitate only a short recovery time.
Today, nearly half of IVF procedures utilize ICSI technology, with fertilization success about 70% to 85% using this method, which usually produces roughly 25% to 30% successful birthrates. However, couples are advised not to wait too long to benefit from such procedures. For women over 35 years of age, more embryos may have to be transferred than others, which also increases the risk of multiple births.
What Does ICSI Cost?
In the United States, the cost of ICSI can run between $10,000 and $17,000 for a single cycle of ICSI treatments. However, medical travelers to destinations such as India may enjoy the benefits of the same treatments for much less, in the range of about $1,200 per cycle. That's a savings of nearly 70-80%.
In places like Hungary, ICSI fertility treatments may be had for about an average of $6,600. In Mexico, South America or Thailand destinations, medical travelers may save up to 75% on costs.
Lower prices don't mean substandard care or service - quite the contrary. Physicians and surgeons in foreign countries are able to pay 1/10 the cost of medical insurance than that found in the U.S., passing the savings on to patients.
Who Performs ICSI Treatments?
An OB/GYN should be Board certified in his or her field in his or her country of origin, as well as in Reproductive Endocrinology in order to offer excellent and experienced reproductive and fertility treatment services. Physicians work in conjunction with highly trained clinical staff to complete the ICSI process. Individuals seeking ICSI infertility treatments should ensure that everyone involved in the process has been trained and board certified to perform such procedures.
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