Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Key benefits

  • Used to assist fertilisation in cases where this cannot be achieved using conventional in-vitro fertilisation techniques, e.g low sperm count, poor sperm motility or with testicular sperm in instances where a vasectomy has been previously performed.
  • A single sperm is captured using a fine glass needle and injected into the egg
  • Fertilisation and pregnancy rates are comparable to conventional IVF methods
  • This service is now covered by a Medicare rebate

ICSI is a technique specifically to address severe male factor problems. This is a sophisticated technique, which involves the collection of an individual sperm and the injection of that sperm into an individual egg to obtain fertilization. Any resultant embryos can be transferred to either the tube or the uterus. It is important to realise that a small percentage of men with defective semen assessments have an underlying chromosome disorder with the possibility of this affecting any offspring. There can be a role for chromosome studies and genetic counselling in these individuals.

ICSI Video

ICSI Sperm Entering Egg

Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA)

This is a new procedure for azoospermic (no sperm in the ejaculate) men. It is possible under local anaesthetic to extract sperm directly from the testicle using a fine needle biopsy technique and to then combine this with the ICSI technique to achieve fertilisation. This can enable some couples, who would otherwise need donor sperm, to achieve a pregnancy with the genetic material of both partners. The male requires initial investigations to see if this is an appropriate procedure for him, a physical examination and a hormonal profile being obtained. There may also be a role for chromosome analysis and/or genetic counselling. This technique can be offered to men following vasectomy if reversal is not a preference. This is the biopsy technique of choice in men with obstructive azoospermia and replaces the more invasive open biopsy technique. It has a very low complication rate and a rapid recovery period.