As fertility patients, we remember ICSI to mean “I Could Stomach It” in that we could live with the $1,500 cost and modest elevated health risk if ICSI ensured our eggs would fertilize. But, as we later learned, improving fertilization rates often does not translate into higher live birth rates, so for many patients, using ICSI doesn’t improve their chances of having a baby. The decision to use ICSI is a case study in tradeoffs, and in this tutorial we’ll be covering:
Our hope is that by the end of this tutorial you’ll be able catalogue your own assessment of the risks and benefits of ICSI as it pertains to your case, your budget and your risk tolerance, as we outline below.
We cover how male factor, non-male factor, poor responders, advanced maternal age, patients using PGS, and others respond to ICSI versus Conventional Insemination. We take a closer look at the specific metrics, like ICSI fertilization rate, needed to quantify a laboratory’s ability. We also delve into the data about how ICSI may increase the rate of birth defects and the urogenital impact to male offspring. We cite over 40 studies and use insights gleaned from interviews with embryologists, andrologists, reproductive urologists and reproductive endocrinologists.