Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

Humans have this amazing power to create a mini version of themselves, thus ensuring the continuity of human race. The birth of a child is a pure wonder biologically as well as emotionally. But sometimes, there are some problems regarding the fertilization of the egg due to some infertility issues in the male. This problemis solved by Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). Here, a single sperm is directly injected into a matured egg. It is one of the forms of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) which involves theuse of specialized tools and equipment and also inverted microscope that helps the embryologist to select a single sperm in a specially designed ICSI needle. The needle is then pierced through the outer shell of the egg and the egg membrane. Then the sperm is injected into the cytoplasm of the egg. Before this process, the woman is put on medication to retrieve the matured eggs for fertilization.

The male infertility factors include sperm concentrations of less than 15-20 million per millimeter, sperm motility of less than 35%. Other factors include theprevious IVF with alow rate of fertilization or retrieval of less number of eggs. Though there are no symptoms which indicate that a man is infertile, there are many reasons behind his infertility. The sperm production might have got affected due to chromosomal or genetic disorders, infections, medicines or chemicals or damage by radiation. Some sexual problems like erectile dysfunction, failure of ejaculation, spinal cord injury prostate surgery or damage to nerves add up to a man’s infertility factors. Pituitary tumours, congenital lack of LH/FSH, anabolic steroid abuse or sperm antibodies are the hormonal reasons behind infertility.

A man’s infertility can be diagnosed by many methods. A general physical examination includes examining thechronic health problems, genitals and asking questions about any inherited conditions, illnesses, injuries or surgeries that could affect fertility. The semen analysis is also done to look for any abnormalities in the shape (morphology) or motility of the sperm. It will also check for infections. A simple blood test can be done to determine the levels of testosterone and other hormones. Testicular biopsy is also conducted. If the results show that sperm production is normal, the actual problem lies either in the blockage or poor movement of the sperm. Transrectal ultrasound includes a small, lubricated wand inserted into the rectum to check for prostate or any possible blockages.

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