Are there risks associated with an ICSI procedure?
- Posted on: Mar 4 2014
The possible risks and complications of the ICSI technique are very similar to those of standard in vitro fertilization. Having an ICSI performed during your IVF cycle can increase the chance of the cycle being successful, but the process is not a perfect treatment and has some slight risks to the patients. These include potentially causing hyperstimulation syndrome, multiple-birth pregnancies, and a slight increase in the chance of birth defects.
The fertilization rate of using ICSI ranges from 50% to 80%, making it a very attractive option for couples. There is the chance that even if the fertilization of the embryo was successful, the embryo may have been damaged in the process. The potential risk of embryo damage is under 5% in many cases, with the damage often occurring during the administration of the needle to the embryo for sperm injection.
Hyperstimulation Syndrome may occur as the result of the standard superovulation treatment administered to patients in an IVF cycle. This superovulation is performed to stimulate the body into producing multiple eggs for collection to increase the chances of having a viable sample.
In approximately .5% to 2% of all IVF cases however, this stimulation leads to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome in which the body may experience an enlargement of the ovaries, fluid buildup within the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, and mild to moderate symptoms of fatigue.
Genetic Abnormalities may occur in pregnancies created by ICSI fertilization. There are a number of contributing factors to this, but the abnormalities occur most often when the sperm count has been found to fall under 1 million/cc in a sample. It is also possible for the sample of sperm collected for use was of lesser quality than intended due to lack of an elimination process of the sperm.
During natural conception the weaker sperm fall off as they are unable to penetrate the egg wall, whereas during ICSI has the chance of extracting this weaker sperm and injecting them directly into the egg.
Some known conditions that may arise as the result of a defective embryo are standard sex chromosome abnormalities. ICSI also has three specific birth defect risks associated with it: Angelman syndrome, Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, and Hypospadias.
A higher Chance of Multiple Births
A potential for an increased chance of multiple births has been determined as a risk of both ICSI and IVF treatments, with an average of 35% of couples having twins and a 5% to 10% chance of triplets.
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