The use of Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) has increased dramatically in recent years. Currently, ICSI is used in in 76% of cycles in the USA and 65% of IVF cycles in Europe. It began as a treatment for male infertility, but is now being used almost routinely as part of all fertility treatment regardless of the diagnosis, and is increasingly being used to treat infertility in older women.
Recent research indicates that IVF cycles using ICSI in older women, when there was no indication of male infertility issues, was not more effective than standard IVF. The researchers concluded:
The decision regarding performing ICSI should be based on sperm parameters and previous history. The use of ICSI for the sole indication of advanced maternal age shows no benefit over conventional IVF.
JLH (Hans) Evers, Editor-in-Chief of Human Reproduction, said, “This is another confirmation of the fact that ICSI should not be used light-heartedly as an ‘add-on’ to IVF, except in case of male infertility. It constitutes over treatment, offers no advantage and may even harm a couple’s chances.”
Photo Credit: ZEISS Microscopy