What is ICSI?
With Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) a single sperm is selected by an embryologist, taken up in a fine glass needle, and injected directly into each egg. Your fertilized egg (embryo) is then transferred into your womb in the same way as an IVF cycle.
How are IVF and ICSI similar? ICSI is similar to IVF as eggs and sperm are collected from each partner or donor. On the day of egg collection, an embryologist inseminates the eggs and the following day selects out those that are fertilized. They are kept and monitored in an incubator for up to five days and the best embryos are transferred into your womb to implant.
What is the difference between IVF and ICSI?
ICSI differs from IVF as each egg is individually injected with a single sperm, bypassing the stage where the sperm has to naturally penetrate the egg.
When is ICSI used?
ICSI is used if the sperm is unlikely to fertilize an egg naturally. This may be when:
- Sperm count is very low
- Sperm can’t move properly
- Sperm has a high rate of abnormality
- Sperm is retrieved directly from the epididymis (PESA) or the testicles (TESA), from the urine, or by electro-ejaculation
- There are high levels of antibodies in the semen
- Previous IVF treatment has resulted in failed fertilization
- Sperm has been frozen