1. Hormonal stimulation
Just like conventional IVF, multiple eggs should be matured at the same time when using ICSI. This procedure is therefore usually performed in combination with hormone treatment for the woman.
2. Retrieving and preparing the eggs
Once the eggs have matured, a doctor removes them by means of so-called follicular aspiration. The doctor uses a thin needle with ultrasound guidance to collect the eggs from the woman’s ovaries. This procedure takes only a few minutes and is usually performed under brief anaesthesia. The retrieved eggs are taken to the IVF laboratory immediately after removal, where they are then prepared for fertilisation.
3. Sperm sample from the man
The man’s sperm sample is taken close to the time of egg retrieval. The sample is then prepared in the laboratory, to ensure that there are as many good-quality sperm as possible for the ICSI.
4. Fertilisation of the eggs in the laboratory
In the IVF laboratory, an expert injects an individual sperm directly into each egg (ICSI) using a special glass cannula under a microscope. The injected eggs are then immediately put in an incubator. The day after the ICSI, it is possible to see how many of the treated eggs have been fertilised (pronuclear stage). The further development into embryos also takes place in the incubator (maximum of 5 days).
5. Embryo transfer to the uterus
Just like in conventional IVF, the doctor performs the embryo transfer to the woman’s uterus in consultation with the patient. To do this, the doctor uses a soft plastic catheter, and the procedure takes just a few minutes. The embryos can then implant in the lining of the uterus where they can continue to develop.
A pregnancy test can be done around 14 days later. This will then reveal whether the procedure was successful or needs to be repeated.