Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is performed by injecting a single sperm into a mature oocyte to achieve fertilization. This is no doubt the most commonly used assisted reproduction technique (ART). It proved a real revolution at the beginning of the 90s, since it successfully solved most masculine infertility problems.
Because of its high and constant success rates to achieve fertilization (70-80%), the ICSI technique has not significantly changed since it began to be used. The necessary equipment features an inverted microscope, with specific optics and a heating stage to maintain the temperature at 37ºC/98ºF. A number of 3D micromanipulators are attached to the microscope to move the micropipettes holding the oocyte and containing the sperm. Sperm motility and the experience of the embryologist applying the technique are two of the most important parameters to guarantee its effectiveness.
Advising ICSI should follow from a comprehensive fertility assessment of both partners. For instance:
1. Masculine sterility:
In cases of azoospermia and anejaculation, the sperm needed for ICSI can be retrieved directly from the testicles (by testicular puncture or biopsy).
3. Other causes: