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Concerned about ICSI

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Concerned about ICSI

Postby Demorphed » Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:54 am

Hi guys,

Visited a clinic recently and the doc identified low sperm motility/count as factors, recommending IVF/ICSI treatment. I am 31male, partner 34 and trying for 2years. He said there was a slight risk of abnormalities and birth defects as a result of the treatment which was higher than IVF alone and higher than natural births. The studies, he said, and by my reckoning on a quick google search are split, but I am still concerned.

The procedure has been around only 10years so there is not a big sample of babies to 'test' for any study. Secondly, you are totally reliant on the skill/luck of an embryologist to pick out a 'good' sperm, whereas in nature/IVF only the strongest sperm would make it through thereby enabling some degree of natural selection.

On the other hand, neither IVF or a natural birth guarantees a healthy child either.

So....Im worried, and maybe irrationally so. I guess I'm looking for some pyschological reassurance that all is well, but I'd also like to hear from people who have had no problems with ICSI.

Thanks in advance
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Postby k » Thu Sep 15, 2005 4:19 pm

Hi there

We had half IVF/half ICSI. None of our IVF fertilised, so if it wasnt for ICSI then I wouldnt now be pregnant! We dont know why none of the IVF fertilised. We were using sperm which had been frozen prior to my DH having chemotherapy when he was 21, so there was no obvious problems with his sperm. Ive also tried to read up on possible problems from ICSI. As far as I understood it, I dont think there is any problems caused by the actual injecting of the sperm into the egg. There is the possibility of whatever the male factor problem is been passed onto a male child, but as you say there is no long term research as yet to go on. I also think if there is a problem with the sperm been injected, then the embryo is unlikely to divide and develop. (Just as naturally a lot of fertilised eggs dont go on to become a pregnancy). I guess you just have to weigh up the pros and cons as to whether you want to take the risks (However small).
Good luck with your future treatment!
Love kim
Me 36 DH 33 Male factor due to chemotherapy. IVF\ICSI May 05 +ve.
Jenna Grace born 19.1.06 then natural BFP!
Nathan Alexander born 2.10.08
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Location: West Yorkshire, UK.

Postby Sand » Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:53 pm

Hi there .... We are ICSI too.

Our hospital made it very clear from the start that there are significant risks with ICSI. As you say, it is still a relatively new technique - and it was not preceded by long term animal studies. As the sperm is injected directly into the egg, sperm that may not normally be able to fertilise an egg get through. As ICSI bypasses the normal fertilisation process genetic defects may be transmitted. Also, the egg and resulting embryo may be damaged by the injection procedure. They say that although the great majority of babies born by ICSI appear to be normal, the full implications of tmt won't be known for many years.

It's a risk we have to take if we decide to go ahead. For some of us, there's no alternative.

Sandra x
Me 41 yrs old - dh 49 yrs old. ttc 110 yrs.
1st cycle (ICSI)....Mar 04 -ve.
2nd cycle (ICSI)....Aug 04 -ve.
3rd cycle FET........May 05 -ve.
4th cycle (ICSI) ... Feb 06 -ve
5th cycle FET ..... Feb/Mar 11
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Postby crasmus » Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:49 pm

we are also icsi people.... and to say the least... we have had two great sons(4 and 1 1/2 years) through the icsi process.... we talked with the embrologist, and they said that there is a slight risk, but there are way to minimize this... they are trained to look for the best sperm, and if there is a problem, a lot of time mothernature will not let the embro develop.... hope that you find what you are lookinf for, and take care!!
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Location: Illinois

Postby kcgal » Sat Sep 17, 2005 6:30 pm

Hi everyone! We just found out that we also have to go through IVF/ICSI due to low count/motility/morph. Yes, we have it all! It was really hard to swallow because I really thought that the doctor would advise us to try IUI. My dh's count/motility was low on the last three sa when his urologist ordered the test. We just seen the reproductive specialist on Thursday and they did another sa test at the clinic. Everything went down 75% from the previous sa! I am not sure what happened. We are in the process of moving so I don't know if it's stress that caused it. Even so, by 75%? I am just baffled by the whole thing!

Doctor told us that we could start in a week. Question for you ladies, how many shots do I need to take. And does it hurt? I am deathly scared of needles. Yes, I am a wimp. I have zero pain tolerance.
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Postby Demorphed » Sun Sep 18, 2005 9:01 am

KcGal: Ditto here. To be honest, I think SA results are all over the place for a couple of reasons.

The one thats been explained to me is that the results are variable on the current batch being produced - so short term factors like temperature etc (e.g. if you happen to be wearing tight pants on the day). but also i was told that it takes about 3months (?) to produce a fresh batch in the testes so whatever you have been taking to remedy this (e.g. my doc prescribed vit E) will take at least as long to have an effect. In my case it didnt' seem to and hence the ICSI route.

The second variable is the quality of the testing facilities. In the UK there was an article recently about how different results were from various labs/hospitals to each other. I dont know the details of the testing methodology but essentially they spotted that the standards used to define how bad a SA result was were different. so one clinic would be telling you you were normal, another that you had a problem. Ditto for me, I got three different sets of results from three different tests taken at different times.

Hope this helps and thanks for the responses everyone.
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Postby f16nicole » Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:04 am

I went though ICSI back in 2003 and I have a very cute and very healthy son. My husband and I just went though frozen embryo transfer of the rest of our embryos a few weeks ago, and I am carruing again and will find out how many in 2 weeks.
I dont see nothing wrong with ICSI, if anything look at it as you are getting the better of the sperms. How we where told is my husband and low mobility but the count was there. They wanted to go though and get the most active sperm and inject it into the egg to make sure it took. Some sperm are not strong enough to break through the egg shell, but dont mean they are any less then the other. I fell you have a better out come, you dont have to worry about a sperm not making it and then you lose that egg.
It is a very hard to say ok do it, but just remember these doctors do this for a living. There job is to make sure you get what you are wanting.
I really hope everything works out for you and good luck ok. I will keep watch out on your forum in hopes to hear that you will be expecting as well.
My baby boy is great!

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Postby JustinesBaby » Sun Nov 06, 2005 7:18 pm

Last edited by JustinesBaby on Sun May 11, 2008 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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I am doing ICSI but with PGD

Postby scarpenter » Thu Nov 10, 2005 6:20 pm

Anyone ever do PGD to make sure the embryos are ok that are the result of ICSI? That is what we are doing this month. I will let you know how it goes...

TTC #1 for almost two years!
IVF-ICSI scheduled Nov 2005
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:33 am
Location: Iowa


Postby Tami2525 » Fri Nov 11, 2005 1:35 pm

You guys are so much more informed on medical research than message boards I have visited before! I am totally impressed.

We to have done ICSI - we didn't get pregnant.

What everyone has said about there being a chance of future reproductive problems with male children of ICSI is just what I found out.

Sometimes you have to weigh the good (baby with a slight possibility of sperm problems in the future when there will most likely be medical proceedures to correct the problem) against the bad (no baby).

Good luck with your IVF!

Tami (25 - DOR) and Zach (27 Azoo before surgery), Trying since 2002

US - IUI 3x in 2004 with donor sperm
IVF 6/2005 - cycle aborted - failure to stimulate
IVF 9/2005 - cycle failed

Future - IVF scheduled for 1/2006
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Location: Columbus, Indiana

Postby MEA » Wed Dec 28, 2005 11:35 pm

Hi all,

My husband and I are an ICSI couple as well.

We are in our 2ww at the moment.

We grappled with the risks, pros and cons of ICSI as well, particularly the risks of passing down the problem to a son. My DH had a genetic test of his sperm to assess whether his low sperm count was indeed genetic or not and it came back negative to being a genetic problem, which means that hopefully if we have a boy, the likelihood of him inheriting this is very low. :)

There are no major differences between children conceived naturally or those born through ICSI ie intelligence or developmentally wise, according to many studies which we have read.

We were very regimental with our treatment and I injected at the exact same time each day. I am trying to do the same with my Cyclogest post ET as well. Doing this did hamper us socially but hey what is more important here. I injected at 22h30 each night which gave us most of the evening to do something else if we wished and then raced home to inject on time.

Remember our babies are very special ones, they can not not be if we go to such lengths to have them right??

Take care.

Mea and DH
ET x2 on 23 Dec 2005
33 years old. DH 31
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