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Researcher say that ICSI may be over-used in some countries
Date:7/9/2008

Barcelona, Spain: New figures on assisted reproduction technology (ART) in Europe show that there has been an explosion in the use of ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) to treat infertility, the 24th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Barcelona heard today (Wednesday). Researchers believe that some countries may now be using the procedure too often.

In 2005 the most recent year for which data have been collected there were 203 329 ICSI cycles. This was nearly double the figure for standard IVF cycles, which was 118 074 for the same year.

The distribution of IVF and ICSI has undergone a complete reversal from 65.3% for IVF and 34.75 for ICSI in 1997 (when ART data first started to be collected for Europe), to 36.7% for IVF to 63.3% for ICSI in 2005.

ICSI was first developed in 1992 as a way of treating infertility caused when a man either had a very low sperm count or poor sperm motility. Individual sperm are collected and injected directly into the woman's egg, thereby ensuring fertilisation. However, Professor Anders Nyboe Andersen, chairman of the ESHRE's European IVF monitoring consortium, said the current shift from IVF to ICSI could not be explained by a corresponding rise in the proportion of couples seeking treatment for male-related infertility.

"More than half of all ICSI cycles are now done in couples without a diagnosis of severe male factor infertility. It is being used increasingly when couples are classified as having mixed causes of infertility, unexplained fertility or because they are older in their late 30s or early 40s," said Prof Nyboe Andersen.

"Nor is it the case that performing ICSI provides a better pregnancy rate per embryo transfer than IVF. For 2005, the pregnancy rates were almost exactly the same: 30.4% for IVF and 30.3% for ICSI. More importantly, clinical trials have shown that ICSI does not produce more pregnancies compared t
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
34-932-308-810
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology
Source:Eurekalert

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