Male infertility accounts for around 50% of the infertility cases we see. But with sophisticated Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection technology (ICSI), we can often find sperm to use even if it appears there is no hope.
ICSI involves the insertion of a single selected sperm directly into the cytoplasm of a mature egg. This procedure can overcome many barriers to fertilisation which can include failed fertilisation from previous use of standard IVF and severe male factor infertility, such as very low sperm counts and/or motility, high number of morphologically abnormal sperm, utilisation of surgically retrieved sperm.
ICSI is a well established micro-injection technique which has resulted in additional options for the treatment of male infertility.
If you’re wondering about male fertility, we recommend getting a sperm test – there are at home sperm testing kits or, your GP or Repromed can arrange a test.
Physiological Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (PICSI) is a additional sperm selection tool in the treatment of ICSI. PICSI therefore involves injecting a sperm into a mature egg.
Hyaluronan is a naturally occurring protein that is found on the membrane surrounding the egg. PICSI refers to the use of a dish containing hyaluronan drops. Sperm are added to hyaluronan drops where mature and competent sperm will bind to the hyaluronan. Research shows that sperm that bind to hyaluronan have a lower probability of chromosomal abnormalities and higher DNA integrity. Sperm that express a positive reaction are selected for injection.
PICSI is suggested when there is:
- Low fertilisation rate after ICSI
- Compromised embryo development in previous cycles
- History of miscarriage
- High sperm DNA fragmentation
Watch the fascinating process where sperm meets egg in this video showing Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection technology (ICSI):