How safe is ICSI?
ICSI carries slightly more risks than some other fertility treatments, including a risk that eggs may be damaged when they’re cleaned and injected with sperm.
It has been suggested that the use of ICSI may also be associated with long-term health issues for the children born. However, we cannot prove this either way until we have more conclusive evidence.
Risks that may be associated with ICSI include:
- certain genetic and developmental defects in a very small number of children born using this treatment; however, problems that have been linked with ICSI may have been caused by the underlying infertility, rather than the treatment itself
- the possibility that a boy conceived as a result of ICSI may inherit his father’s infertility (it is too early to know if this is the case, as the oldest boys born from ICSI are still in their teens). However, where there is a clearly defined genetic cause of male infertility, particularly if it is associated with the Y chromosome, it is highly likely that male offspring will inherit their father’s infertility.
.If you think this might apply to you, you may want to consider having genetic testing first to avoid the low sperm count being passed onto a male child. You’ll probably want to discuss the full implications of taking these tests with your clinic’s counsellor before going ahead.
There are also all the usual risks that come with IVF treatment.