What is Microinjection (ICSI)?
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What is Microinjection (ICSI)?

What is Microinjection (ICSI)?

In a classic IVF cycle, eggs are fertilized by being placed in a test tube with sperm cells after retrieval. Thus, fertilization occurs naturally in an incubator.

However, help is usually needed during the fertilization process in cases of severe male infertility. Microinjection (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) is an important method developed to solve this problem. Using a small glass needle, it involves injecting a single sperm into each egg.

This procedure takes place under a microscope in a laboratory environment. In this technique, the fertilization rate of the egg is quite high.

Who is suitable for Microinjection (ICSI)?

Microinjection can be used in all IVF cycles as it significantly increases the success rate. However, it is particularly recommended in the following cases:

  • If there is a severe sperm disorder,
  • If the egg cells are not of sufficient quality,
  • In women of advanced age,
  • In cycles where the chance of fertilization is estimated to be low,
  • If classical IVF methods do not produce successful results,
  • When sperm is extracted by testicular biopsy methods (TESE/TESA), it will be a good choice to use the microinjection technique.

How is microinjection performed?

Microinjection is performed on an inverted microscope adapted with micromanipulators allowing the sperm to be moved in very thin tubes in which they are absorbed or accumulated. Micromanipulators consist of a system that microscopically controls sperm movements.

Microinjection is performed with special catheters suitable for the extraction of individual sperm to be injected into the cell without causing any damage to the egg cell. During the microinjection process, the stage of the microscope is adjusted to ensure that there are no sudden changes in temperature or pH of the medium. Therefore, buffering agents that prevent changes in pH value are added to the medium.

The procedure is performed when a single sperm is injected into an egg cell. To do this, sperm are placed in an assembly where microinjection will take place. Sperm drops are made up of a thicker solution that slows down their movement, making them easier to use. A sperm that is morphologically normal and alive is extracted from the drops in which the sperm is present, and immobilized. The immobilization is achieved by touching the tail of the sperm with a micropipette. Thus, a modification is caused and fertilization becomes possible.

After this phase, individual sperm is aspirated and injected into the egg cell. The membrane surrounding the egg cell is very elastic. Therefore, it only needs to be drilled once. It should be ensured that the membrane is torn and that the sperm remains inside the cytoplasm. A change in the rate of aspiration can lead to the rupture of the egg cell.

After sperm is injected into all egg cells, the buffering agent is removed and these cells are kept in culture media. Afterward, it is observed that it is fertilized in a controlled manner for about 15 to 20 hours.

How does microinjection progress?

An IVF cycle consists of fundamental phases such as ovulation induction, egg retrieval, sperm extraction, fertilization, and embryo transfer. Microinjection is performed immediately after the retrieval of eggs and sperm. Microinjection is a procedure involved in the fertilization process. If successful, the transfer phase of the embryo begins.

What is the difference between microinjection and IVF?

IVF is one of the assisted reproductive technologies that can be performed in cases where reproduction does not occur naturally. With the IVF method, which consists of many procedures and phases, it is very likely to have a baby.

On the other hand, microinjection is an important development performed in situations where a successful result cannot be achieved in a classic IVF cycle. Each egg is fertilized individually.

IVF is a medical treatment method and microinjection is the phase administered to achieve a more definitive result.

Microinjection prices

There are differences in pricing systems according to the health center where the procedure is performed. Since it is evaluated together with the IVF cycle, it will be more useful to know about the cost of the whole treatment, except for single pricing.