If you're diagnosed with infertility and considering fertility treatments, you may be wondering about the difference between in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
Both procedures involve retrieving eggs from the ovaries and fertilizing them with sperm in a lab. ICSI is typically used when there are problems with male infertility, whereas IVF can be used for either male or female infertility. Here's a comparison of these two popular fertility treatments.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
IVF or In-Vitro Fertilization is also commonly known as a test tube baby. IVF is a type of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) that involves the use of fertility medications and surgical procedures in order to stimulate ovulation (release of an egg).
The procedure involves retrieving an egg from the ovaries which are to be fertilized with the partner's sperm outside of the body.
The resulting embryo is placed back in the woman's uterus for implantation and eventually pregnancy. However, in order for this to happen, both people must be in good health so that their bodies can handle all aspects of egg and sperm production as well as implantation into the womb.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
Less common but also available is intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), a process by which a single sperm is injected into an egg to achieve fertilization. The fertilized egg is then transferred to the woman's uterus.
ICSI treatment is performed as a part of conventional IVF treatment. IVF is the more traditional of the two procedures, while ICSI is a newer technique used when male infertility is an issue.
Comparison: IVF vs. ICSI
When to Consider?
IVF is often considered when other fertility treatments have failed, or medical conditions make it impossible for couples to conceive a child through traditional intercourse. In some cases, IVF can be used when the woman is over 35 years old and is unable to conceive.
ICSI is usually only used when there are issues with male factor infertility, such as low sperm count or poor semen quality, as it involves injecting a single sperm into each egg. This means that if the problem lies with the woman’s eggs or with both parents’ fertility, IVF would be a better option.
During the IVF process, the woman’s ovaries are stimulated using fertility drugs to produce more eggs. On maturity, the eggs are retrieved using a needle. Fertilization is done by exposing the eggs to a partner's sperm in a culture dish.
The resulting embryo is either placed back in the woman’s uterus to achieve pregnancy or otherwise gets frozen for future attempts or as per the couple’s personal decision.
Whereas ICSI treatment is done as a part of the IVF procedure where the quality sperm are extracted surgically and physically injected into an egg after the IVF procedure. ICSI IVF procedures are recommended for couples facing multiple factor infertility such as blocked fallopian tubes & low sperm count.
IVF has a success rate as compared to other fertility treatments. IVF success rates vary from clinic to clinic. Many factors affect success rates. However, it is seen that undergoing IVF with ICSI has a much higher success rate than regular IVF. The chances of fertilization are also high as it usually fertilizes 50-80% of the eggs.
However, it is important to remember that no medical procedure can guarantee a 100% success rate. In some cases, even if the sperm is directly injected into the egg, it may not fertilize the egg.
Though infertility treatments like IVF & ICSI are considered safe and among the most effective treatments to help aspiring parents achieve their goal of parenthood. But as a part of the medical process, sometimes they involve risks such as pelvic infection, nausea, multiple births, ectopic pregnancy, pain in the stomach, and mild cramping and bleeding during embryo transfer.
While IVF and ICSI both offer the same outcome and both procedures have a number of risks and potential side effects. If you're considering ICSI along with IVF, it's essential to talk with a fertility doctor at Crysta IVF - the best IVF center in Nashik about what your goals are and whether one surgery is better than another for you.