We have heard so many stories about couples having problems getting pregnant, even through the use of assisted reproductive technology procedures (ARTs). Procedures like artificial insemination, ovarian stimulation, ovulation induction, and even in vitro fertilisation or IVF cannot guarantee a successful pregnancy. Here, let us discover one additional step in the IVF process that would increase the likelihood of a couple to bear their own children, the intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection: The success rate of IVF
Contrary to popular belief, undergoing IVF is not 100% fail-free. There is still no guarantee that you would be able to give birth to a child after IVF. Even if the first few steps of IVF ran smoothly, you wouldn’t really consider it a success if you miscarried during the first few months of pregnancy. As live birth rate is the most accurate gauge of IVF efficiency and success, the birth of your child through IVF really determines the success of the whole procedure.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection: Why does IVF fail?
There are many factors in a couple’s life that affects pregnancy. This includes the maternal age, the medical reason why they can’t get pregnant, and their overall health status, among others. Even if the implantation of the embryo is a success, and the pregnancy tests turn out to be positive, it is still a failed IVF procedure if you do not give birth to a healthy baby. And we cannot manipulate all variables and factors that may affect your condition during the next nine months.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection: How does ICSI work?
Because scientists and doctors search for ways to improve the success rates of IVF, they study the medical reasons why couples fail to sustain life after a successful first part of the IVF. One of the reasons they found out is about male infertility. Some men have more weak sperm cells than active ones, that is why even if the fertilisation is done outside a woman’s uterus and the incubation is highly monitored, natural insemination is still near impossible. Doctors then came up with Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, an additional process in IVF. This supplemental step allows the doctor to study the semen sample provided by the male partner to separate the weak sperm from the active ones. Once the active ones are determined, each one will be designated to be injected directly to a mature egg cell, hence facilitating fertilisation and bypassing the ‘natural´ sperm intrusion of the egg cell membrane or wall. This instantly increases the chance for fertilisation and the development of a healthy embryo.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection: What is the cost of ICSI?
Of course, such intricate manipulation comes with a price. If your IVF procedure would carry out a price tag of $9000 to $12000, you can expect that undergoing Intracytoplasmic sperm injection or ICSI would cost you an additional $1500 to $3000, depending on how many eggs need the elaborate procedure and the overall quality of the sperm cells.
Preparing to start a family may be emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausting. However, hope is still on the horizon thanks to scientific innovations like IVF and ICSI. Discuss all your concerns with your fertility specialist so that they can guide you and set realistic expectations about your journey to parenthood.