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Volume 14, Issue 1 (January 2012) 14, 116–120; 10.1038/aja.2011.71

Outcomes for offspring of men having ICSI for male factor infertility

Jane Halliday

1 Public Health Genetics, Murdoch Childrenℙ Research Institute, Parkville, Vic. 3052, Australia
2 Department of Paediatrics, University of , Melbourne, Carlton, Vic. 3053, Australia

Correspondence: Associate Professor J Halliday, (janehalliday.h@mcri.edu.au)

Received 30 June 2011; Revised 7 September 2011; Accepted 7 September 2011; Published online 12 December 2011


Since the introduction of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) using single sperm isolated from testicular tissue in men with obstructive and non-obstructive azoospermia, or using ejaculated sperm in those with poor semen quality, there have been concerns that this might have adverse effects on the offspring compared to conventional in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and natural conceptions. ICSI is done for reasons other than male factor infertility, and on the whole has not been shown to have any more negative effects than those seen with IVF. There have however, been very few studies of ICSI with a focus on, or large enough numbers to examine, the specific outcomes associated with male factor infertility. From the limited information available in relation to the source of the sperm and aetiology of infertility in the presence of ICSI, there appears to be no increased risk of congenital malformations. There is, however, a small increase in both de novo and inherited chromosome abnormalities. In terms of growth and neurodevelopment, there are very few studies, and so far, no adverse outcomes have been found in young children whose fathers have a sperm defect. The origin of the sperm used in ICSI does not have a major influence on the early life outcomes for the offspring, but transgenerational and epigenetic effects remain unknown. When the male factor infertility is known or thought to be due to a Y-chromosome deletion, this information should be given to the young male offspring at a time that will ensure his own reproductive health and plans are optimized.

Keywords: congenital malformations; ICSI; male factor infertility; neurodevelopment; offspring outcomes; Y-chromosome deletions

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