The ICSI fertility treatment is often used when the man's seed is of poor quality or when previous IVF attempts have not worked. ICSI stands for Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection. It literally means that one living sperm cell is injected into an egg cell by means of an injection. Read more about this here fertility treatment ICSI and when it is chosen for this. What is the difference with IVF and to what extent is this fertility treatment reimbursed by the health insurer?
When is a fertility treatment ICSI chosen?
Are you and your partner trying to conceive for more than a year and is it still unsuccessful despite endless efforts? Your doctor will then examine you or refer you so that the cause can be determined. When there are factors below, ICSI is chosen for the fertility treatment:
- Serious seed problems such as a very low sperm count (less than 1 million moving sperm cells per male sperm sample submitted).
- When previous IVF attempts have not been successful. For example, when the fertilization of all ova did not succeed in the IVF treatment or when the fertilization of the oocytes in IVF was less than 20%.
- When antibodies have been found in the semen.
- When the woman makes antibodies against the sperm.
How does an ICSI treatment work?
If you get the fertility treatment ICSI you go through a number of phases. These phases are almost the same as with IVF. Below is a short description of the steps of an ICSI treatment:
Normally one egg ripens per cycle. This is too little for the fertility treatment. Therefore, the woman is given hormones that cause more egg vesicles ripen than normal. The target is 8 to 10 oocytes. If more egg cells ripen, more embryos can develop and the possibility to select the best embryo is created. The remaining embryos may be frozen for a new attempt if this attempt fails. The ripening of the egg cells is monitored by vaginal ultrasounds.
Via the vagina, the oocytes are punctured with a hollow needle and emptied. This can be painful, it is possible to get an anesthetic for this.
Fertilization in laboratory
In the laboratory, the eggs are stored in a stove at body temperature. The man delivers his sperm. Then the eggs are fertilized. With ICSI, this means that 1 good sperm cell is injected into the egg cell. After this, it is about a day to wait and see if fertilization has taken place.
When a fertilization has taken place, the embryo is returned to the womb after about 3 days. This is done through the vagina through a thin tube. On the basis of your age, quality of the embryos and medical history, 1 or 2 embryos will be replaced. When the embryo is implanted you are pregnant.
Difference between ICSI and IVF treatment?
ICSI and IVF are quite similar in terms of procedure. Both start with hormonal stimulation followed by a puncture. Only the method of fertilization is different. At ICSI, one live sperm cell is injected into the egg cell. In IVF, the oocytes and sperm are brought together on a dish. After this, a sperm cell will invade an egg cell itself.
The success rate on a pregnancy is not the same for every woman. It depends on the quality of the embryos that have arisen after fertilization, the age of the woman, the health of the woman and the prevention of any fertility problems in the woman. On average, the chance of a pregnancy after one IVF or ICSI treatment is 20-25%. After 3 attempts, the chance of a pregnancy is 50%.
Women are most fertile between 18 and 32 years. After this, the quality of the egg cells slowly decreases. IVF and ICSI treatments have an age limit of 40 to 43 years old. This is a bit dependent on the hospital and the overall health of the woman. In men, age plays a smaller role.
Costs and reimbursement by insurance
The basic insurance reimburses 3 attempts of both IVF and ICSI. There is an attempt when the puncture (collecting oocytes) has been successful. You will never be reimbursed for more than 3 attempts, even if you switch from health insurer.
If you want and need a fourth attempt, this costs about 1500 to 2000 euros for IVF treatment. A fertility treatment with ICSI costs a few hundred euros more. These costs do not include medication and hormone treatment. A few thousand euros can be charged for this.