Men Medically Assisted to Reproduce:

AID, IVF, and ICSI, an Assessment of the Revolution in the Medical Treatment of Male Factor Infertility
By Élise de La Rochebrochard


In response to involuntary infertility, which affects 15% to 20% of couples, the techniques of in vitro fertilization (IVF) have been developed. Between 1982 and 2000, 85,000 children were born in France thanks to IVF (estimates based on combined analysis of the FIVNAT survey and administrative data). Five world reports and two European reports have been produced on IVF, but their use remains limited by incomplete data for regions such as southern and eastern Europe. The success rates with IVF are around 15% to 20% of pregnancies obtained per retrieval. However, these rates decline rapidly as the woman’s age rises and when the man’s sperm has severe abnormalities. In cases of severe male factor infertility, artificial insemination by donor (AID) was for long the only medical solution, but it raises the problem of accepting sperm from a donor. Since 1992, a new IVF technique, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is available. This technique has been widely adopted in France and in many other countries: in 1998 it represented 30% to 60% of assisted fertilizations. Despite this large development, numerous questions remain concerning the consequences of the technique, particularly regarding the short- and long-term health of children conceived by ICSI.

Go to the article on