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Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) in Los Angeles


For couples struggling with infertility, in vitro fertilization (IVF) offers a way to dramatically increase the odds of conception. ICSI can be used with IVF to help couples with fertility concerns on the sperm side of conception.

What Is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection?

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) can overcome many of the challenges associated with male sperm motility and female eggs with a hard outer layer that is difficult to penetrate. This procedure involves injecting a single healthy sperm into the cytoplasm that composes the outer layer of the egg to allow for successful fertilization.

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“We just celebrated our son’s first birthday, and thought we should send out warm wishes to Dr. Saadat and his team as well. Without them this would not have been possible. We had “unexplained” infertility issues and the first clinic we went to was not very friendly and we felt like we were just another “cycle”. Dr. Saadat was always willing to answer questions and the nurses there were terrific. I felt like everyone in the office was on our side, and that makes a huge difference. So thank you to everyone from Anna, Michael and Alex”

Anna and Michel D.

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What Are the Benefits of ICSI?

Increased Pregnancy Success Rate

A major reason patients choose to use ICSI is that it increases the chance of successful conception. This occurs because the procedure eliminates certain variables that can cause sperm to fail to fertilize the egg during natural intercourse or IVF without ICSI.

By removing these variables, the chances of egg fertilization dramatically increase.

Healthy Sperm Selection

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection treatments use sperm chosen from a semen sample size using microscopic techniques. This means that the sperm used will be the healthiest and most viable sperm from the sample.

By only using the best sperm available, the ICSI treatment increases the odds of a successful and healthy pregnancy.

Supersedes Male Infertility

ICSI treatments only require a single healthy sperm to be viable. Men with deficiencies in semen, such as a low sperm count or abnormal sperm motility (movement), may be able to produce the sperm necessary for successful fertilization.

This means that male infertility can be overcome, and a male partner may be able to have a child that is genetically his.

What Is the ICSI Process?

Sperm Acquisition

Semen Sample From the Father

The intended father can provide his semen sample on the day of the procedure. The sample will be immediately used as part of the ICSI process.

Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA)

For male patients who cannot collect sperm in a traditional manner, sperm can be extracted directly from the testicle. This involves using local anesthesia to numb the testis, and then a sperm sample is extracted with a needle. This process is known as testicular sperm aspiration (TESA).

Donor Sperm

Frozen sperm from a donor can be used as part of the ICSI process. This involves using a defrosted sperm sample either from a known donor or a sperm bank.

Sperm Washing and Separation

The sperm sample is washed in a chemical solution to remove any contaminants and other elements. The sample is then spun through a centrifuge to separate healthy sperm from the rest of the sample.

Using special micromanipulation techniques under microscopic control, our fertility specialists can select the most viable sperm for the procedure.

In Vitro Fertilization

After picking out the most viable sperm, the doctor injects a single sperm cell directly into the cytoplasm of an egg that has been retrieved through ovulation induction treatments.

The fertilized egg is cultured for three to four days as it develops into an embryo. It is then ready for implantation in the uterus via embryo transfer.

Frequently Asked Questions About ICSI

How successful is intracytoplasmic sperm injection treatment?

ICSI treatments are extremely effective. For couples where the infertility issue occurs on the male side or due to a thick outer layer of the female’s eggs, ICSI treatments can significantly increase the odds of conception in concert with IVF treatment.

Do I need to know the cause of my infertility before undergoing ICSI?

ICSI treatments are primarily used to address infertility among men, so knowing that there is an issue with sperm viability, production, or availability in the male partner is essential. That said, ICSI can assist couples where the cause of male infertility is unknown.

What if intracytoplasmic sperm injection does not work for me?

If ICSI treatment proves unsuccessful, Dr. Saadat will likely recommend fertility tests to identify the cause of infertility. Based on the results of those tests, he may recommend alternative treatment options.

Can ICSI be combined with other assisted reproductive technologies?

ICSI treatment requires an IVF cycle; it cannot be done as a standalone treatment. This is because ICSI involves creating a viable embryo in the lab (in vitro), which will require implantation after fertilization and embryo development.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection treatments may use testicular sperm extraction (TESE) to collect sperm properly if necessary.

For patients who would like genetic testing for diseases or to determine the sex of their baby, preimplantation genetic testing and diagnosis and gener (sex) selection can be done once the embryo has developed.

How are healthy sperm chosen during ICSI?

Healthy sperm are separated from the initial semen sample via washing and centrifuge treatments. After that, the sperm sample is observed by a doctor under a high-powered microscope to identify sperm that are the ideal size and shape with optimal qualities for implantation.

In effect, a series of steps are used to allow a doctor to visually identify only the highest quality sperm in the sample and ensure that no defective sperm are used.

How do I know if I need ICSI treatments?

Usually, Dr. Saadat will recommend ICSI treatments if he has reason to believe that IVF procedures alone are insufficient. This may be in response to tests that indicate male infertility, or it may be a response to repeated failure to conceive via IVF procedures.

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