Do not lose heart if you and your partner have been trying and failing to conceive repeatedly. You are not alone. More than 27 million couples in India are facing fertility-related problems. The good news is that there is hope. With so many assisted reproductive technology (ART) methods available today, the chances that you will have a successful pregnancy are heartening.
and ICSI treatment are two popular treatment options for couples suffering from infertility. If you are all set to pursue an ART procedure, then depending on your and your partner’s fertility status, you are going in for one of the two above-mentioned treatments. Let us look at what these treatments are and how they are different from each other.
What are IVF and ICSI?
IVF (in-vitro fertilization) and ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) are both ART procedures that involve fertilizing the egg with a sperm outside the body, in a controlled lab environment.
Both are relatively non-invasive procedures. Only egg retrieval and embryo transfer processes involve invasive techniques. However, these are quick procedures that can be done with minimal discomfort by skilled specialists.
The eggs are fertilized in the lab by skilled, trained specialists and then kept in the embryo incubator to facilitate growth, before transferring them to the uterus for implantation.
How is ICSI Different from the IVF Procedure?
Both IVF procedures and ICSI treatment are common ART techniques. While both are safe and simple methods, they do have certain significant differences:
IVF procedure ICSI procedure Eggs and sperm are left in a petri dish in the lab. They are allowed to fertilize naturally with no outside assistance. The sperm is deliberately and carefully injected into the egg with a microscopic needle. Multiple sperm and eggs are collected and left to fertilize. One sperm is selected for each egg and injected right into it for fertilization. Usually recommended for female and unexplained infertility. Typically recommended for male infertility.
IVF or ICSI: How to Choose?
While your doctor will have their recommendations based on your and your partner’s health status, it is useful to understand which procedure works best under which conditions. Here are some aspects to note:
The ICSI procedure does not require several sperm for successful fertilization or impregnation. One sperm is carefully selected for fertilizing one egg. In the IVF technique, a large number of sperm are preferable.
If infertility is caused by the sperm being unable to fertilize the egg on its own, then ICSI may work better since human intervention takes place at this stage and this is not left to the sperm.
IVF is advisable when the root cause of infertility is not clear. It is also advised when the woman has issues like fallopian tube blockage that prevent her from conceiving.
Cost-wise, the IVF procedure is more affordable.
Advantages of Each Method
A quick summation of the advantages of each method will help you and your partner make the right decision:
The IVF procedure gives you the maximum chance of fertilization and conception because multiple eggs are placed with the sperm. If there is more than one successful fertilization, the best embryo is selected for the transfer. Other embryos can be frozen to be used in future IVF treatment cycles if needed. This means, if the first attempt is not successful, you can try again using the frozen fertilized egg. Then, you can skip the hyperstimulation and egg retrieval stages.
The ICSI treatment method is a viable solution when the male partner has sperm issues. If the sperm is unable to penetrate the egg due to any reason, the ICSI technique circumvents this issue and results in successful conception. Again, the quality of the sperm is carefully assessed before it is used to fertilize the egg. Both treatment methods—IVF and
—offer infertile couples simple and safe solutions for conceiving. Understanding how the methods work and where they offer the greatest benefits helps you make well-informed decisions about the procedure. Remember, every couple is different and has different needs as well as conception issues. Make your decision after evaluating and discussing all options with your doctor and do not follow a technique just because it worked for somebody else. ICSI procedure