Choosing to begin IVF treatment is a big step, but an exciting one!
Unfortunately for some people, IVF treatment alone isn’t enough to start or extend your family. But this does not at all mean that you will never be pregnant.
ICSI with IVF
IVF treatment involves retrieving eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilising them in a laboratory setting, using sperm from either a partner or a donor. Once fertilisation has taken place and embryos have been created, these are then placed back into the woman’s womb to develop into a pregnancy.
ICSI, or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, is used in conjunction with IVF. The process is exactly the same, with the exception of the fertilisation process.
Rather than combining the eggs and semen and leaving them to fertilise naturally, with ICSI, a single sperm is chosen and directly injected into an egg. This skips the natural fertilisation process.
ICSI with IVF is a great option for couples that are having problems with sperm quality or quantity, or if a previous IVF process has resulted in unsuccessful fertilisation.
IMSI with IVF
IMSI, or Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection, has a lot of similarities to IVF and ICSI.
Eggs are still retrieved from the ovaries and combined with sperm. Once fertilisation has taken placed and an embryo is created, this is placed back into the womb to be carried to full term.
Just like with ICSI, sperm is injected directly into the egg to bypass the natural fertilisation process, which is great for those couples with sperm or fertilisation issues.
However, IMSI differs due to the way the sperm is selected. Using a high-powered lens, the sperm are more carefully analysed. Embryologists can look for any abnormalities in the head of the sperm, selecting the very best sperm and therefore increasing the chances of better quality embryos.
This treatment can support people with both sperm and fertilisation issues but is particularly beneficial to those with sperm abnormalities.
Your next steps
If you have experienced a failed IVF treatment, the first thing you should do is speak to your fertility consultant, or a counsellor, for advice and support. You are not alone in this difficult situation. There are people available to support you, and help you evaluate your options.
If you do decide to continue with your IVF process, and you think IMSI/ICSI could help you fall pregnant, discuss your options with your fertility consultant. With extensive experience and a complete picture of your fertility journey, and medical history, they will be able to provide the best advice for you.
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