Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a relatively new procedure that allows couples with severe cases of male related infertility to be candidates for In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) without having to use a donor’s sperm.

The ICSI technique was developed in Belgium in 1992, and consists in the injection of a single sperm directly into the cytoplasm of a mature egg using a microscopic needle. Said sperm is chosen by an expert based on observation or by a PICSI sperm selection device.

In cases where it is impossible to recover good quality sperm in the ejaculate, they can be obtained directly from the epididymis or by a testicular biopsy procedure.

The technique is recommended when a man’s semen sample presents:

  • Low sperm concentration (oligozoospermia),
  • Mobility (astenozoospermia)
  • Morphology (teratozoospermia)
  • No sperm (azoospermia)
  • High sperm’s DNA fragmentation
  • Sperm without the capacity to fertilize an egg by themselves

It is also recommended in cases where it is impossible to obtain a semen sample through ejaculation and sperm have to be obtained from a man’s epididymis or by a testicular biopsy procedure.

PICSI and sperm selection

The fertilization technique known as Physiological Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection  (PICSI) was designed to help specific cases to improve the outcome of ICSI, in which a single sperm is selected and injected into an egg to achieve fertilization.

The use of PICSI is recommended for couples with sperm abnormalities or for those who have had a conventional ICSI without obtaining the desired results.

This IVF technique makes it possible to select a competent sperm cell based on its ability to bind to a droplet of hyaluronic acid placed on a special culture dish, which is the main component of the cells surrounding the egg.

Several studies have found that only mature, competent sperm present the specific receptors on their cell membrane that allow them to achieve a binding to the surrounding egg cells. The presence of these receptors indicates that these sperm s have a higher degree of DNA integrity and lower chromosomal alterations. Therefore, the sperm selected by this technique have higher quality than those conventionally selected just by observation.

The PICSI technique is performed with the use of a special sterile culture dish that has three micro droplets of hyaluronic acid hydrogel on its inner bottom.

Once attached to the droplets of hyaluronic acid, the sperm to be used in ICSI are easily removed and selected with a micropipette.

Sperm selection by PICSI obtains better fertilization and pregnancy rates and reduces the likelihood of a miscarriage.

Our patients can be sure they are in good hands as Ingenes has the largest Mexican market share regarding high complexity case resolution as well as the highest success rates in Latin America.