ICSI and PICSI. The most successful embryological methods for fertilizing mature egg with optimal sperm.

Articles, News 26. July, 2018

During classic or conventional fertilization, eggs and sperm are placed in a “test tube” and then is awaiting spontaneous fertilization. However, this method has a relatively low success rate and can be only used by couples with a good sperm analysis and a sufficient number of eggs. To achieve higher success, ICSI and PICSI micromanipulation techniques are increasingly used.

ICSI – Intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Inserting the sperm directly into the egg.

This most commonly used micromanipulation technique involves direct injection of one sperm into the egg. The selection of sperm is based on the morphology and the character of its movement, is immobilized, immersed in a micro-pipette and injected directly into the mature egg using the micromanipulator.

When is the ICSI method appropriate to use?

When it is found a poor quality or a low number of woman oocytes it is necessary to use ICSI method. It is also very important to use this method where preimplantation genetic diagnosis or preimplantation genetic screening is planned. ICSI is the first choice method for the treatment of male infertility, in the case of low sperm counts, abnormal sperm counts or lack of mobility. The advantage of ICSI method is that it needs only the same amount of sperm as well as eggs.

PICSI – Method of intracytoplasmic injection of Pre-Selected sperm.

PICSI is a method of selecting an ideal mature sperm that is based on a similar principle as it is in the human body. Within the natural process of fertilization, an egg can only fertilize sperm of optimum ripeness. These mature sperm have a specific receptor that responds to hyaluronan, a substance naturally occurring in a female egg shell. Using the PICSI method, we try to simulate the nature course of the sperm drawing to hyaluronan. Healthy and sufficiently mature sperm will attach to the hyaluronan and rotate around its head. According to research, sperm cells selected by this method have fewer sperm with chromosomal mutations and fragmented DNA.

In which cases is the PICSI method recommended?

The PICSI method is useful if you are bothered by repeated abortions, low ICSI fertilized eggs, poor embryo quality or poor progression in previous cycles. Both ICSI and PICSI can be combined with MACS, a magnetic selection of sperm.