Every couple is utterly confused before starting their journey in the field of assisted reproductive technology (ART). Abbreviations like IVF, IUI, ICSI, etc.might create confusion amidst uncertainty.
Dr. Chandana Lakkieddy has thrown light on the difference between IVF and ICSI for clearing out basic doubts from the minds of infertile couples. She is the proud owner of the best IVF clinic in Hyderabad and one of the top infertility doctors in Hyderabad.
What is IVF?
IVF is In Vitro Fertilization process. To give a rough background, it began in the late 70s around the world. The process is quite similar to that of a natural conception except that the fertilization is carried out in the lab. For this, a mature oocyte is collected from a female's body and placed with a large number of sperms, almost 50 thousand to 1 million, in a glass culture dish. The most competent and fast swimming sperm reaches the egg and fertilizes it. Later the embryo is transferred to the uterus, where it grows naturally.
What is ICSI?
It is short for of Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection. It is an advanced form of IVF and was introduced in the early nineties.
Unlike the usual IVF process which involves leaving millions of sperms around one egg in a dish, ICSI just requires one single sperm which fertilizes the egg. The embryologist in the IVF lab picks up the best quality sperm with regard to motility and structure and injects it inside the egg. This reduces the chances of fertilization failure.
Who is the best candidate for ICSI?
Any couple facing male infertility issues and having a lower sperm count, can opt for this treatment, although many fertility centres around the world follow only ICSI to increase the chances of fertilization. Sperm count drastically less than 50000 would definitely require this treatment.
What are the advanced conditions where ICSI can be used?
Unexplained infertility and conception for older females are the other two reasons which indicate the necessity of ICSI. Previously failed IVF treatment also can be successful with ICSI.
It is a highly sensitive test and requires ICSI method of fertilization, so that only one healthy sperm comes in contact with the egg. In this way contamination by many sperms is avoided.
Another highly advanced treatment form of IVF is in vitro maturation of oocytes. In this process, immature and mature eggs are collected from the female and made to mature, outside the body in a culture dish. Once the egg is fully mature, it is then fertilized with sperm to make an embryo by ICSI.
In vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm injection both are are highly technique sensitive processes and cannot be just the choice of the patient alone. It is a team effort and the decision has to be taken by an expert IVF specialist and a skilled embryologist who have backing of a well-equipped IVF lab.