By Dr. Raúl Olivares
When all the health authorities were convinced that the ICSI itself was a safe procedure, the HFEA issues a tendentious information about its safety. And it’s tendentious because of two main reasons. First because there must be differences between what we can consider an “indicated” ICSI, in which there’s a real severe male factor, probably with some kind of genetic basis that can be transmitted and, therefore, mean a higher risk of infertility problems for the patients offspring. And this ICSI that you do when there’s no medical indication and no male factor, just to increase the fertilization rates and avoid unexpected devastating fertilization failures. For sure that if you just put all the cases in the same basket there’s going to be a higher risk of fertility problems in their children. And this leads to the second reason. Do the HFEA have real information about the widely use of the ICSI in non-male factor cases? I seriously doubt it. The ICSI was started as a generic technique in the early 2000s or very late 1990s (the first successful ICSI was carried out in 1992). Therefore most of the babies born from this “generic use” are nowadays not older than 14-15 years old, and I doubt that the HFEA may have any information about the quality of their sperm. The only data that he HFEA may handle is that gathered when the ICSI was done just in cases of severe male factor, leading then to that bias mentioned before. So I can’t understand what is HFEA seeking spreading this confusing information about the safety or a really widely used procedure that has been closely followed by other health authorities like the EHSRE. Any ideas?