ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection)
ICSI has been one of the greatest advances in the treatment of male factor infertility. ICSI involves injecting a single sperm into a mature egg. This procedure involves an embryologist manipulating under a microscope a mature retrieved egg while injecting a micro needle loaded with a single sperm directly into the mature egg. This advancement in the hands of an experienced embryologist can increase the probability of fertilization to as much as eighty five percent. Indications for the ICSI procedure include couples with:
Severely abnormal semen analysis, including low sperm counts below 20,000,000, poor motility, and abnormal morphology.
Men requiring microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA) or testicular sperm aspiration (TESA).
Failed fertilization of embryos on prior IVF attempts.
Co-Culture of Embryos
The embryos of some couples have cytoplasmic fragmentation resulting in poor quality embryos. By culturing these embryos with cells similar to those that line the woman’s fallopian tubes and uterus the fragments can be reduced and the quality of the embryo improved.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGS)
Involves taking a single cell from a developing embryo and analyzing its genetic makeup. This is done to find chromosomal and genetic disorders early. PGS can be used for couples that are at risk for transmitting a genetic disease to their children such as Cystic Fibrosis, Sickle Cell, Tay Sachs, etc. It can also screen for chromosomal abnormalities that can cause miscarriage or prevent pregnancy from occurring while also checking for certain genetic diseases, such as Down's syndrome-much like the amniocentesis test, PGS does confirm the sex of the embryo as part of the complete chromosome report but is not generally used for this purpose.
This technique is used to improve the embryo’s implantation. Assisted Hatching involves opening a small hole in the outer membrane known as the zona pellucida of the embryo. This opening allows the embryo to leave its “shell” and implant into the uterine lining.
Embryo and Gamete Cryopreservation
Cryopreservation (freezing) of embryos (fertilized eggs) is utilized when the number of embryos produced during an IVF cycle exceeds the number of embryos placed in the uterus on day three or five embryo transfer. Once frozen, these embryos may be thawed and transferred in another cycle at a later time. Gamete cryopreservation (freezing) is used to freeze sperm so that it can be used at a later time. Visit our cryopreservation website to learn more about egg and sperm freezing.
A semen analysis measures the quantity and quality of the sperm. Several characteristics are examined, including the ability of sperm to move (motility), forward progression (the quality of movement), sperm count (the number of sperm), volume of semen (the total amount of ejaculate), as well as the size and shape of the sperm (morphology).
The semen analysis must be collected within 1 hour prior to reaching the laboratory or be collected onsite. The laboratory should provide a sterile container and instructions on masturbation collection. The specimen must be processed immediately. Many laboratories do not have the ability to perform the semen analysis onsite and may ship the specimen to another city or state, thus not processing the specimen until several hours later or even the next day. This delay would severely impact the accuracy of the results. Complete Andrology services including Semen Analysis are performed daily onsite at Houston Fertility Center.
This is a process to remove the sperm from the ejaculate. This provides a highly concentrated amount of sperm that can then be introduced into the cervix or the uterus.