Main Difference – ICSI vs IVF
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) are two techniques used as fertility treatments. ICSI is a method used in conjunction with IVF. In both ICSI and IVF, the egg cell is artificially retrieved from the female. The fertilization in both ICSI and IVF occurs outside the female’s body. The resulting embryo is then transplanted into the uterus. The main difference between ICSI and IVF is that in ICSI, a single sperms is directly injected into the center of the egg whereas, in IVF, egg and the sperms are placed in a Petri dish for fertilization.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is ICSI
– Definition, Suitability, Procedure, Success Rates
2. What is IVF
– Definition, Suitability, Procedure, Success Rates
3. What are the Similarities Between ICSI and IVF
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between ICSI and IVF
– Comparison of Key Differences
Key Terms: Egg, Fertility Treatment, Ideal Candidates, Intracytoplasmic Sperm injection (ICSI), ICSI Procedure, In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), IVF Procedure, Sperms, Success Rate
What is ICSI
The ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) refers to a fertility treatment in which a single sperm is directly injected into the egg. A single sperm can be picked up with a fine glass needle for the injection.
Ideal Candidates for ICSI
- Individuals with low sperm counts
- Individuals with abnormally-shaped sperms and less motile sperms
- Individuals whose sperms are retrieved from urine or through electro-ejaculation
- Individuals with elevated levels of antibodies in the semen.
- Individuals who fail at IVF
- Individuals who need to test the embryo for genetic abnormalities
In ICSI, female ovaries are stimulated by progesterone to encourage the development of the egg. Sperms are ejaculated on the same day of the retrieval of the egg from the female. Microinjection is the technique used in the ICSI for the injection of the sperm to the egg cell. The fertilized egg develops into the embryo within two days. One or two embryos will transfer into the uterus by a fine catheter. The pregnancy test can be performed after two weeks.
Though the success rate of the method depends on the age of the woman, about 25% of patients get pregnant during this treatment.
The technique requires a fewer number of sperms. The ability of the sperm to penetrate the egg is assisted in ICSI. However, the ICSI procedure should be performed by competent embryologists with the use of specially-designed equipment. Therefore, ICSI is a comparatively expensive technique to perform.
What is IVF
IVF refers to a fertility treatment in which the fusion of the egg and sperm takes place outside the body. The fertilization in this technique takes place in a Petri dish.
Ideal Candidates for IVF
- Aged women
- Women with blocked or injured Fallopian tubes
- Women with endometriosis
- Individuals with blocked or reduced number of sperms.
- Individuals with unexplained infertility
Superovulation or stimulation is the first step of the IVF. Drugs are given to stimulate ovulation for around 10 days. The mature oocytes are collected by follicle puncture. The fusion of the sperms with super quality eggs can be performed after the collection of sperms. The fertilized egg is developed into the embryo within a Petri dish, and the embryo can be transferred to the uterus within 3 to 5 days of fertilization. The patients should take progesterone for 8 to 10 weeks after the transfer of the embryo. Progesterone strengthens the lining of the uterus, facilitating the attachment of the embryo.
The success rate of IVF treatment depends on the age of the woman. About 41-43% success rate can be identified in women under age 35. About 35-37% success rate can be identified in women between the ages 35 to 37.
Similarities Between ICSI and IVF
- ICSI and IVF are two methods used in fertility treatment.
- The fertilization in both ICSI and IVF occur outside the female body.
- The egg for both ICSI and IVF is artificially retrieved from the female.
- The resulting embryo is placed in the uterus in both ICSI and IVF.
- Donor sperms and egg from the surrogate mother can be used in both ICSI and IVF.
- The success rate of both ICSI and IVF depends on the age of the woman.
Difference Between ICSI and IVF
ICSI: ICSI refers to a fertility treatment in which a single sperm is directly injected into the egg.
IVF: IVF refers to a fertility treatment in which the fusion of the egg and sperm takes place outside the body.
ICSI: ICSI stands for intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
IVF: IVF stands for in vitro fertilization.
ICSI: In ICSI, a single sperm is directly injected into the center of the egg.
IVF: In IVF, egg and sperms are placed in a Petri dish for the fertilization.
Amount of Sperms
ICSI: A fewer number of sperms are required for the technique.
IVF: IVF requires a considerable amount of sperms.
Ability of Sperms to Penetrate the Egg
ICSI: ICSI assists the sperms to penetrate the egg.
IVF: In IVF, sperms should be able to penetrate the egg.
ICSI: ICSI is suitable to treat male infertility.
IVF: IVF is suitable to treat both male and female infertility.
ICSI: ICSI can be used for better results.
IVF: IVF can be used when other primary fertility treatments such as artificial insemination are unsuccessful.
ICSI: The ICSI is more expensive.
IVF: The IVF is an expensive technique.
ICSI and IVF are two techniques used in the fertility treatment in humans. Both ICSI and IVF take place outside the female body. In ICSI, a single sperm is directly injected into the egg. However, in IVF, both sperms and egg are mixed together in a Petri dish to achieve fertilization. The main difference between ICSI and IVF is the method of achieving fertilization.
1.”Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).” Sims IVF, Available here.
2.“What Is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)? – Process, Cost & Success Rates.” InviTRA, 12 Jan. 2018, Available here.
1. “Microinjection of a human egg” By KDS444 – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “In-vitro fertilization (IVF)” By MartaFF – (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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