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Difference Between IVF and ICSI


One in seven couples is estimated to have problems with infertility.  It is the inability of a man and woman to conceive. Both the man and the woman can suffer from infertility and a miscarriage is also a form of infertility. The causes can be diverse; it can be caused by genetics, diseases especially those involving the hypothalamic and pituitary glands and being exposed to environmental pollutants.

For women who suffer from infertility, the cause may be due to stress, an abnormality in the thyroid glands and medical problems like infections in the cervix, polyps, tumors, blocked fallopian tubes or the failure of the embryo to attach itself to the uterus.

For men, the causes can range from infections like mumps or VD and hormonal problems to exposure to toxic materials and chemicals. If a man has diabetes and hypertension, there is also the risk of infertility.

Although couples are wary of having this problem, there are a lot of treatment methods that they can be used to help them conceive. From cervical caps to homeopathy to medical treatments, any couple can hope of having a baby. If all treatments prove ineffective, doctors usually advise couples to resort to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

IVF is the process of fertilizing the egg cells with the sperms cells outside the body. This is done when it is the woman who suffers from infertility. In IVF, the ovulatory process is manipulated and controlled. Egg cells from a woman are fertilized with the sperms cells of a man in a fluid. When the embryo has grown, it is then placed into the patient’s uterus where it is expected to grow.

Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is used when it is the man who is having infertility problems. This is done when IVF is not possible. In this process, a single sperm is injected into the egg and is usually done with donated sperm. In fertilization, the strongest and healthiest sperm gets to fertilize the egg but with artificial insemination, the eggs are manually selected.

In the use of ICSI, there is a risk of structural and numerical defects in the chromosomes causing genetic disorders, so it is suggested that there should always be prenatal screening. IVF only carries minimal risk of genetic disorders because the sperm cells are carefully chosen and tested.

1. In Vitro Fertilization is done when women fail to conceive while Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection is done for infertility in men.
2. IVF involves hormone manipulation and the extraction of egg cells from the woman and sperm cells from the man to be fertilized in fluid while ICSI involves the extraction of egg cells from the man and injecting a single cell into an egg cell.
3. There is minimal risk of genetic disorders with IVF while using ICSI has a higher risk of conceiving with an embryo that has a genetic disorder.
4. IVF is suggested only when other means of fertilization are not effective while ICSI is used when the sperm count is less.

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