Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection

Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a technique where the egg is fertilized outside the body by injecting the sperm directly into it. Usually, very few sperm are required. The embryo(s) are then transferred back into the woman’s uterus.

This technique is extremely useful when the male partner produces low-quality, low-count sperm. In above to this, the ability of the sperm to penetrate the egg is not a concern since penetration is bypassed. Therefore, this technique is used for men with abnormal semen parameters, older couples and for those with failed IVF attempts.


Men with the following abnormalities in their semen are candidates for ICSI:

  • Extremely low numbers of active sperm
  • All of the sperm in the sample have an abnormal shape
  • None of the sperm in the sample are moving
  • Previous IVF cycles with failed fertilization
  • The process starts with collecting eggs in the laboratory. The male partner then produces a semen sample, which is then prepared in the laboratory to obtain motile, normal looking sperm to be injected into the mature eggs. The Embryologist, using microscope-guided micromanipulators, injects the sperm into appropriate eggs. Next morning the eggs are inspected for signs of fertilization. Those eggs that have normal fertilization are cultured in the laboratory for another 24 – 48 hours. The development of the embryos is monitored and the selected ones are introduced, through a fine catheter, into the woman’s uterus.
  • ICSI results in success rates are similar to those of IVF. IVF with ICSI requires only one healthy sperm to fertilize.
  • Embryo freezing and replacement of frozen embryos