Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

The fertilization process involves the entry of a single sperm into the egg or oocyte, which is released during the menstrual cycle. However, in cases of male factor infertility, the sperm may be unable to penetrate the egg’s shell. To treat this condition, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) may be recommended for assisted reproduction.

What is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) and who should consider it?

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is the process where the sperm is injected directly into an egg to fertilize it as part of an IVF procedure. In IVF, the egg and sperm (of which there are multiple) are left in a petri dish to fertilize on their own. In ICSI, one sperm is directly injected into the egg. It is mainly recommended in cases of male factor infertility, but commonly used in over 95% of our IVF cases.

Indications for ICSI:

  • Low sperm count
  • Abnormal sperm shape (morphology)
  • Sperm that is taken directly from the testicles
  • Previous IVF cycles have yielded a low fertilization rate.
  • To treat unexplained infertility
  • Also used when Pre-Implantation Genetic Testing (PGD) is planned
  • Recommended when you have a limited number of eggs available

What to expect during Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment?

IVF and ICSI procedures are quite similar. The only difference is that on the day of the egg retrieval, the embryologist will inject a single sperm into each mature egg.

In cases where a man has significantly abnormal sperm parameters, prior to beginning treatment, we may suggest freezing a sperm sample for possible future use. In some cases, the sperm quality can deteriorate significantly over a short time, so having a backup frozen sample stored in the lab will ensure that an adequate specimen is available on the day of egg retrieval.

What is the ICSI success rate?

ICSI is successful in fertilizing 60%-80% of eggs. However, each case can differ due to various individual factors. Based on your medical results, your doctor will be able to share a prognosis with you.