ICSI / Assisted Embryo Hatching
ICSI, or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, involves the insertion of a single sperm directly into a mature egg obtained from the ovary of a woman undergoing in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Often, this results in fertilization and the development of a normal embryo. Babies born after ICSI are statistically as likely to be healthy as those conceived spontaneously.
Helping Nature Along
Assisted Embryo Hatching & ICSI – We explore all possible avenues for successful conception at the Houston Fertility Institute, and will combine treatments when necessary to help improve our patients’ chances of conceiving. Among the IVF treatments offered at our practice, assisted embryo hatching and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) provide many benefits.
If you and your partner are exploring fertility options or having difficulty conceiving, please allow us to help. Our team of doctors can educate you on your options so that you can make an informed decision regarding your fertility.
What is ICSI?
Intracyoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a technique used in conjunction with an in vitro fertilization cycle (IVF). This procedure involves carefully injecting a single sperm into an egg to facilitate fertilization. Prior to the development of ICSI, an egg was placed in culture with several thousand sperm to achieve fertilization. There are several indications for this procedure.
Indicators for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
Any number of circumstances may indicate the need for ICSI treatment. These include:
- Male factor infertility
- Surgically retrieved sperm (testicular biopsy for example)
- Unexplained Infertility
- Previous Infertility
- Previous failed fertilization with an IVF cycle
- IVF cycles involving pre-implantation genetic diagnosis/screening
Our embryology staff are very skilled in this technique and do several IVF cycles that involve ICSI.
What is Assisted Embryo Hatching?
Each egg or oocyte is surrounded by a zona pellucida. You can think of the zona as an egg shell. The initial development of the embryo occurs within this egg shell and at a certain time (day 5 or 6) the embryo breaks free from this shell or “hatches” in order to start the implantation process with the uterine wall. Some reasons for unsuccessful IVF cycles may be due to the inability of the embryo to “hatch” and therefore not implant. Assisted embryo hatching is a process where by a portion of the zona pellucida is thinned to facilitate the embryo’s release from this shell and thereby increase the chance of implantation. This procedure is done with a laser under a microscope.
Indicators for Assisted Embryo Hatching
- Previous IVF cycles with failed implantation
- Women of advanced reproductive age
- IVF cycles involving pre-implantation genetic diagnosis
Our staff will review your case thoroughly to see if you could benefit from assisted embryo hatching.
Contact the Houston Fertility Institute
We encourage you to learn all that you can about your fertility options. If you would like to learn more about ICSI or assisted embryo hatching, contact the Houston Fertility Institute today.