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Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)


While a common perception is that the majority of fertility problems affect women exclusively, the truth is that many men suffer from problems of their own that can make it difficult for a couple to conceive a child.  Fortunately, there are a number of cutting edge fertility treatments that aim to alleviate these problems, many of which are available at a cheap rate in Cape Town – a destination known for the quality of its medical tourism.
Some of the main fertility issues that men can experience include:

  • Low sperm count in the semen – this leads to a reduced chance of an egg being successfully fertilised. Sometimes, even when there is a complete absence of sperms in semen, a sample can be collected via advanced sperm retrieval methods.
  • Problems with ejaculation – retrograde ejaculation makes the semen drain into the bladder instead of making its way out through the penis. In this situation, sperm cells can be collected from a urine sample or even directly from the testes. 
  • Problems with sperm mobility – these can cause the sperm to be unable to reach the egg for fertilisation, but a normal ejaculation is sufficient to collect a sample.
  • Permanent vasectomy prevents sperm cells from exiting the testes.
  • Cancer treatment can also cause infertility in men – in this case sperm samples are often taken prior to treatment and stored for later use.

In all the above cases, a procedure that is often prescribed is that of Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (often abbreviated to ICSI).  This procedure entails the collection of both a sperm sample as well as several eggs from the prospective parents.  Each egg is then gently injected with a single sperm cell under laboratory conditions, which are then kept in a culture fluid for a few days.  Once healthy embryos begin form, the best of these are then implanted into the woman’s uterus.  The entire process is thus very similar to that of in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

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