What Is the Difference Between ICSI and IVF?

Do you find yourself entangled in the choice of fertility treatment, amongst so many of them, and confused upon the best one for you? Deciding to go for fertility treatment is by no means an easy decision, but through proper research, information, and appropriate guidance you will be able to make an informed decision. IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) and ICSI (IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection) are the most common fertility treatments, wherein the sperms and eggs are fertilized in the lab, outside the mother’s womb and the embryo thus formed is transplanted in the uterus of the ‘to be mother’. It is important to know details about these treatments. Here, we will take you through both these procedures, the conditions when these are recommended, the difference between IVF and ICSI, and which is better?

Feel free to skip ahead if one topic catches your eye: 

  1.     What Is the Difference Between ICSI and IVF?
  2.     IVF Procedure.
  3.     ICSI Procedure.
  4.     IVF or ICSI Which is Better for You?
  5.     Success Rates of ICSI and IVF
  6.     FAQ’s
  7.    Take away

1.     What is the difference between ICSI and IVF?

The actual difference between IVF and ICSI lies in the process of how sperm fertilizes the egg.

In IVF: The egg and the semen (containing multiple sperms) are left in a petri dish and the most fertile one fertilizes the egg, which means no assistance is given to the sperm, this process happens naturally. This is possible only when the sperms have normal vitality and motility i.e. they have the power to reach and fertilize the egg.

In ICSI: The best sperm is selected from the semen by an embryologist, and injected into the egg for fertilization. A layer of cells is also from the egg to make the sperm entry easier ( Denudation ).This is done when the sperms lack the ability to fertilize on their own and need assistance for the process.
Both these techniques are recommended under different conditions, which the doctor will explain and guide you after a thorough assessment.

2. IVF Procedure.

The complete IVF cycle takes around 3 weeks and involves several steps. After a thorough evaluation and screening tests, your IVF cycle begins

  • Ovarian stimulation by synthetic hormones:
    • This is to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs, maturation, prevent premature ovulation, and prepare the lining of your uterus.
    • It takes around 10 days for your eggs to be ready for collection.
    • The doctors will assess this through blood tests and vaginal ultrasounds(Follicular monitoring).
  • Egg Retrieval:
    • It is done in the clinic, around 36hrs hrs after your final hormonal injection, and before ovulation.
    • The doctors will give you medications and anesthesia, to prevent pain and discomfort.
    • The eggs are collected via the Transvaginal ultrasound aspiration method where an ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina to identify follicles and the eggs are collected from the follicles through a thin needle connected through a suction device.Procedure takes around 15 -20 min.
    • These eggs are kept in a nutritive liquid and incubated 0
  • Sperm Retrieval:
    • A semen sample needs to be given on the day of egg retrieval.
    • The semen is put through a high-speed wash cycle to find the healthiest ones.
  • Fertilization:
    • The mature eggs and the healthy sperms are transferred to the dish containing the eggs. This is called standard insemination and incubated for the fertilization to take place.
    • The resultant embryo is allowed to grow for 3-5 days in the lab.
  • Transfer of the Embryo:
    • When the embryo is ready to be transferred, the doctor will place the embryo or embryos into your uterus through a catheter (thin, long, flexible tube).

If the procedure is successful, your pregnancy test will be positive in about 12 -14 days.

3. ICSI procedure

ICSI full form is the ‘Intracytoplasmic sperm injection’ which is basically a step ahead in the IVF cycle where the sperm is facilitated to fertilize with the mature egg.
The first and second steps i.e. Ovarian stimulation by hormonal medications and eggs retrieval are the same as IVF.

  • gg denudation: After the egg retrieval, the cell layer which surrounds the mature eggs are removed which is called ‘oocyte denudation’ and can be done through mechanical or chemical methods.
  • Sperms Selection: the semen thus obtained is observed and the best sperms are selected.
  • Fertilization: Here lies the main difference between IVF and ICSI, the selected sperm is injected directly into the cytoplasm of the egg for fertilization to take place.

The rest of the steps of embryo development and embryo transfer are the same and embryo transfer is done after 3- 5 days of egg retrieval.
The pregnancy test is done after 14days.

4. IVF or ICSI Which is Better for You?

We cannot say straight away, IVF or ICSI- which is better? because both have a common goal i.e. to create a viable embryo, but which technique can benefit you better, depends upon your fertility conditions. Under certain conditions, IVF would prove to be sufficient to form an embryo, while in some, you may be recommended ICSI. Let us look more into this:

When IVF is a good choice:

  • When you are not able to conceive normally after multiple trials.
  • When there are cysts in the ovaries.
  • Fallopian tubes are damaged or blocked.
  • If you have irregular ovulation cycles.
  • Having issues with Endometriosis.

When ICSI is a good choice:

  • When there are IVF cycles failures.
  • When the sperm count is very low, sperms are of abnormal shape or have low motility(Movement)
  • If the sperm has been collected surgically.
  • When there are erection or ejaculation issues.
  • When the sperms contain a high level of antibodies.

At Omya Fertility Centre in Delhi, you will receive expert guidance and personalized advice and treatment solutions after consultation and detailed evaluation.

5. Success Rates of ICSI and IVF.

Several factors must be considered that largely affect the results of these treatments:

  • Age: This is the most important factor. The more the age, the less will be the anticipated success rates, as both the quantity and quality of eggs and sperms reduce with age.
  • The type of fertility problem: With some medical problems, IVF works very well, like fallopian tubes obstruction, etc. while with others like Less sperm count, ICSI may be successful.
  • History of previous miscarriages: This also reduces the success rates.
  • Dual infertility: In cases where both the partners have a fertility issue, the chances of a successful cycle further decrease.
  • Smoking and alcohol: Excessive smoking and alcohol consumption results in low sperm count, low motility, abnormal sperms, lowering the implantation rates and hence reduced success rates.
  • Obesity or underweight: Both obesity and a very low body weight affects the success rates of fertility treatments.
  • Drugs intake: Consumption of drugs like Marjuana, lowers the chances of a successful cycle.
  • Credentials of doctor: A highly qualified doctor with vast experience in the field will definitely ensure better chances of success.
  • Use of advanced technology: Modern equipment will result in performing the procedure with higher precision and hence higher success rates.
  • Use of donor embryos: The use of donor embryos reduces the chances of fertilization failure and hence there is an increase in the success rates.

The success rates of both the procedures are divided depending upon the age and range from 1st cycle to subsequent 3-4 cycles according to accumulated data :

Age IVF ICSI
Less than 35 years 30-48% 32-50%
35-40 years 25-36% 26-37%
More than 40 years 10-24% 11-23%

Therefore, we cannot say that one treatment has a higher success rate than the other because it all depends on the cause and extent of your infertility. Thorough evaluation and proper guidance by the doctor is essential to achieve successful results of IVF and ICSI treatment in Delhi.

6. FAQs

  • 1. What is the cost of IVF v/s ICSI?

    The cost depends upon many factors like age, type of fertility issue if donor eggs/embryos are used, location of clinic, doctor’s credentials, etc. The average basic cost in India is:

    IVF: 1,75000- 3,00,000 INR
    ICSI: 2,50000-3,00 ,000 INR

    You need a consultation and evaluation before you can know the exact cost for your procedure.

  • 2. What are the risks associated, IVF v/s ICSI?

    Both are safe procedures with some discomfort and temporary issues like bloating, mild pain, mood swings, etc. Reaction to stimulation or procedural injuries may occur very rare

  • 3. Does ICSI cause birth defects?

    No, it has been scientifically proven that ICSI does not cause any birth defects.

  • 4. Are the success rates with ICSI more than IVF?

    Since, in ICSI, the sperm is chosen, prepared, and mechanically micro inserted into the egg, therefore the chances of fertilization are definitely higher. But if there are no fertilization issues and sperm are capable of fertilizing on their own, then the success rates will be the same.

Takeaway

At Omya Fertility clinic, which is the best infertility center in Delhi, you will be assured to receive a personal and holistic approach towards your fertility treatment. They offer a full suite of embryology and andrology fertility services at one, convenient location. With highly qualified and experienced doctors working for you with the latest and modern technology, you will have a good experience and successful outcomes. The costs are economical and transparent so that your journey to become aspiring parents is as comfortable and stress-free as possible.

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