Becoming a parent is a feeling that is inexplicable. I was one of the lucky few who could conceive naturally and deliver naturally as well. I had my first baby at the age of 29 and the second one before I turned 35. However, for many reasons sometimes conceiving for a woman becomes complex. I have seen a few of my friends struggle. Some of them decided to have kids at a later stage, some had ovulation issues and in some cases, it was just stress. It is then they sought for fertility treatments that helped them conceive.
Under what circumstances should you consider Fertility Treatments?
- If you are under 35 and have been unable to conceive even after a year of regular intercourse.
- You have a history of miscarriages.
- You need treatment for endometriosis or a blockage or scarring of her fallopian tubes.
- You ovulate irregularly and haven’t manage to conceive or responded to any other treatments.
- A couple has a known risk factor, for eg. history of genital infections, irregular periods, undescended testicles, etc.
- If the male partner’s semen analysis shown a low sperm count, poor motility (movement), or poor morphology (structure).
Are you thinking of going for fertility treatment, but have many questions?Has this been clouding your mind too? While there is a lot of talk on IVF, there is very little knowledge around ICSI ie Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection as treatment. Do read below to know all about ICSI.
So what is ICSI?
ICSI is one of the most successful In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) treatment that helps couples in conceiving a child. Couples usually undergo ICSI in case of male infertility issues. The process only requires one sperm, which is injected into the egg directly. The fertilised egg (embryo) is then transferred to the lady’s womb (uterus).
Where can you avail of this treatment in India?
With the significant growth of science and technology, advanced health and medical treatments like ICSI treatment are now possible in major cities of India. There are a number of ICSI practitioners all over India. ICSI treatment in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, etc. is quite popular these days.
How does it work and what is the process?
ICSI treatment is only processed once the eggs are retrieved from the female partner. A specialized microscopic needle is used for picking up the egg. A specialized pipette is used for holding the mature egg. The hollow needle holding the single sperm is then inserted through the eggshell as it penetrates the core of the egg. The needle is removed once the sperm gets injected successfully into the cytoplasm. After 1-2 days, the eggs are tested for fertilisation.
During ICSI, the woman has to undergo specific medication in order to stimulate the ovaries for fertilization while the man produces a sample of sperm. In case there is no sperm in his semen, the doctors extract it using a needle. Woman’s eggs are also extracted with a needle and then, a single sperm is injected into an individual egg. The fertilized eggs become embryos and are further transplanted to the uterus.
One cycle of the ICSI is completed within four to six weeks. If you are under 40 years of age, you need around three full IVF cycles irrespective of ICSI. If your age is between 40 and 42 and you have never had IVF before and there is no sign of low egg numbers, you might need one full cycle after consultation and discussion of the implications of IVF and pregnancy at this age which is comparatively late.
What is the success rate of ICSI?
ICSI has very high chances of a successful fertilization. Almost 75% of the eggs that are injected with the sperm get fertilized. Therefore, a couple who are not satisfied by the results of standard IVF in the normal or conventional way can opt for ICSI treatment.
Factors affecting the treatment, cost etc.
The chance of a successful ICSI treatment mainly depends on factors like woman’s age, choice of clinic, operating doctor’s experience, reproductive health of both male and female, etc. The cost of IVF treatments in India usually ranges between 60,000 to 90,000 rupees, however, it might further extend to 3-4 lacks, depending upon the treatment, fertility level and other medical histories. The cost of ICSI treatment in Banglore ranges between 20,000 to 45,000 rupees which is viable to change with respect to medical conditions.
How safe is ICSI?
ICSI is a safe process overall. However, some risks are always associated with any IVF treatment. There have been incidences where ICSI resulted in long-term health issues for the children that are born through this process. However, there is neither proof nor any conclusive evidence.
And finally, some facts about ICSI
There have been cases of people having low sperm count by a genetic condition, such as cystic fibrosis and different chromosome issues. If you think this applies to you, then there is nothing to shy away from ICSI. You can definitely consider having genetic test initially, as it will resist the passing of low sperm count to a male child. ICSI process is safe and has seen a considerable success ratio over the years. You can consult a doctor and discuss the complete implications of taking these tests.
Before you plan to consult a doctor for ICSI, here are few facts regarding the treatment, which will give you a better idea.
- ICSI provides a chance of conceiving your genetic child to you and your spouse, even if other fertility treatments options fail to do so.
- The sperm can be extracted for ICSI, if your partner is not able to ejaculate during the time of egg collection in the IVF process.
- ICSI is also a considerable treatment for those couples with unexplained infertility. In such cases, the doctor initially prefers to recommend standard IVF procedure, because the pregnancy rates of both ICSI and IVF are almost similar and IVF is a less complex treatment, as compared to ICSI.
- ICSI does not have any adverse effect on your child’s development or mental and physical health.
We hope this article has informed you on your choices related to fertility treatments and educated you on the process. Fertility treatments can be a daunting road for you and your partner, do remember to stay supportive and hopeful. We wish you a happy parenthood.