Intended for healthcare professionals

Science Commentary

What is involved in intracytoplasmic sperm injection?

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 13 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:705
  1. Abi Berger, Science editor
  1. BMJ

    Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is a technique that increases the chance of conception in cases of severe male infertility or in cases in which the reasons for infertility remain unexplained. There are 59 centres in the United Kingdom licensed to conduct intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

    Intracytoplasmic sperm injection involves injecting a single sperm into the centre of an ovum using a fine glass needle (one fourteenth the size of a human hair). The sperm can be collected from ejaculate or directly from the testis or epididymis; collection from the testis or epididymis is usually performed under general anaesthesia. Just before injection, the sperm is carefully prepared by washing off the seminal plasma; the best quality sperm are identified by washing through a special …

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