Icsi and associated risks

We recently went for a screening appointment and are due to begin treatment in February. After a sperm analysis was completed they advised that we would be better going down the icsi route however the nurse then mentioned this carried greater risks such as chromosomal defects, sexual defects and other risks. I didn't take it all in as my husband got upset and I was more worried about him but now doing some research online it looks like a lot of the risks of icsi are still unknown due to being such a new treatment.
Can you shed some light on this and tell me what the risks would be and also the success rates to see if its worth the risk
Thanks in advance
  • edited January 2014

    Dear Clara,
    Thank you for your question.
    If your partner’s sperm quality is not optimal, the recommended technique is an IVF with ICSI (microinjection of a single, pre-selected spermatozoid inside each egg).
    Although some studies initially revealed genetic abnormalities in the offspring were higher with ICSI than with conventional IVF, it has been proved that this is not true. At first ICSI was only used in cases where sperm quality was extremely poor and this caused a bias in the studies (the results were worse because the sperm was worse, regardless of the technique used). Once ICSI started being used with normal quality sperm, studies have shown no differences in genetic abnormalities or other risks compared to conventional IVF.
    The ICSI technique has been used for over 10 years now and has proven to be safe. It allows us to increase the chances of fertilization in comparison to conventional IVF, so we therefore use it routinely.
    Regarding the success rates of IVF with ICSI that you were asking about, they tend to range between 30% and 59%, depending mainly on the woman’s age if she is using her own eggs. If she were using donor eggs, the success rate can be as high as 61%.
    I hope I have answered your question. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any further questions.

    Best regards,
    Dra. Clara Colomé

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