Success with IVF is limited, however, when male factor infertility is present. A male with poor sperm quality is often unable to achieve fertilization or who have had poor fertilization in previous cycle with conventional IVF are candidates for ICSI.
ICSI allows the microscopic insertion of a single sperm directly into the cytoplasm of the female's egg. This procedure is called Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection or ICSI, and has resulted in much higher fertilization and pregnancy rates than ever before in the treatment of male infertility.
Since male factor infertility is present in approximately 40% of all couples, it is very pleasing to know that we can offer a chance of paternity even in the presence of only a single sperm. This is of considerable additional significance for those males who do not produce any sperm by ejaculation, but do still have small amounts of viable sperm within their testes and epididymis. Examples of such circumstances are males with absent vas deferens, males who have undergone vasectomy with or without failed vasectomy reversal, and those with some other testicular conditions which markedly reduce the availability of normal ejaculated sperm. In those cases, very small quantities of sperm can be obtained through minor surgical procedures, and can be used to fertilize eggs with ICSI procedure. ICSI makes it possibly for those men to father a child.
Another micromanipulation technique is assisted hatching, or AH. Assisted hatching increases the chance of implantation by optimizing the implantation window; that is, making a hole through the egg's zona ( egg's shell ), and therefore, increasing the pregnancy rate.
ICSI and AH require a superior IVF laboratory and embryologist, This setting is provided at Upstate University IVF.