Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a laboratory technique used to assist the sperm in fertilizing eggs. It’s a process whereby a single sperm is injected into each mature egg using a high-powered microscope. ICSI may be necessary if the man’s semen analysis reveals a very low sperm count, motility, or morphology, or if no fertilization occurred with a previous in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle.
Assisted Hatching (AH): Technique used to improve the odds of implantation of the embryo. AH involves opening a small hole in the outer membrane or zona pellucida of the embryo to leave its “shell” and implant into the uterus.
Technique to try to improve the overall quality of the embryos as they develop in the culture medium. This procedure is used when couples have had poorly developing embryos in previous unsuccessful IVF cycles. A sample of the patient’s lining cells of the uterine cavity (endometrial cells) is obtained by passing a small tube through the cervix into the endometrial cavity to collect the endometrial cells. This is done prior to beginning a new IVF cycle. The cells are then prepared in the lab so that a layer of these living endometrial cells is placed into the culture medium with the embryos. In some patients, this technique has improved their embryo quality, leading to an improved chance for a successful pregnancy.
Freezing of fertilized oocytes (zygotes) and embryos is utilized when the number of embryos produced during an IVF cycle exceeds the number necessary for a day 3 or day 5 embryo transfer. Once frozen, these embryos may be thawed and transferred in a subsequent cycle. The embryos can remain frozen for several years.
Egg Donation is an assisted reproduction technique in which an egg is harvested from one woman (donor) and implanted into another woman (recipient). The woman (recipient) will then have a full-term pregnancy.