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What is Intracytoplasmic sperm injection? (ICSI)

How successful is ICSI ? Get complete information about ICSI with detailed procedure, technique, risk & precaution. Now no more confusion between IVF & ICSI .

  • Ivf (In Vitro Fertilization)

By Pankaj Kamble

2nd May '20

Is IVF and ICSI the same technique ???

Usually, most of us have questions related to IVF specially the ones who are not able to conceive naturally. Moreover,many people are confused between these two techniques(ICSI and IVF). However, both the treatments have good success rates. But, there is a major difference in technique when it comes to fertilization of the egg outside the body . In ICSI the individual sperm is directly injected into the egg to help it fertilize.


So, exactly what is ICSI? And how this treatment is different from the conventional IVF ?


Dr. Alex Polyakov, Clinical Director of Melbourne IVF, says that -

ICSI is a specialized form of in vitro fertilization (IVF) that is used primarily for the treatment of severe cases of male-factor infertility. ICSI involves the injection of a single sperm directly into a mature egg.

In conventional IVF, the eggs and sperm are mixed together in a petri dish and the sperm fertilizes the egg naturally. However, in ICSI, a single sperm is selected and injected directly into the egg. This method bypasses the natural fertilization process and is used in cases where the sperm may not be able to penetrate the egg on its own.

There are many couples from all around the world who are facing issues while conceiving and one of the reasons for infertility is sperm-related. The treatment which is most common and successful for male infertility is ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection).

IVF and ICSI both are types of assisted reproductive treatment (ART).


The main reason for ICSI to come into the picture is when IVF treatment fails in the case of severe male infertility. Also, the other reasons that are nowadays seen are immunological infertility, ejaculatory dysfunction, and treatments required for cancer patients.

ICSI technique is generally recommended by doctors to :

  • Males having a low sperm count.
  • Woman who have under gone IVF treatment before and none or only a few eggs fertilized.
  • The ones whose sperm quality is poor i.e shape of sperm is abnormal ( poor morphology) and also the movement of the sperm is not normal (poor motility).
  • Further, for people who have frozen their sperm before undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
  • Further, for people who have frozen their sperm before undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
  • Also, for male partner suffering from azoospermia. AZOOSPERMIA is a condition where there is no sperm in the male's ejaculation. So people suffering from this are also recommended to go for ICSI.
Advantages of ICSI - Helps in male infertility, Fertilization is improved, Incase IVF treatment have failed

Now surely you must have got an idea about ICSI technique.


But you surely must be wondering what exactly is the procedure for ICSI? Or what are the steps for ICSI technique ?


ICSI is an advance fertility method which falls under ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNIQUE in which a singular sperm cell is introduced directly into the egg.


Given below are some of the risk related with ICSI

The success rate of ICSI is high i.e around 50 to 80 percent but it is not necessary that all the fertilized eggs will get developed into healthy embryos. Also, this technique helps in fertilizing egg even if the sperm is not healthy enough which could result in defective embryos.


Further, the risk associated with ICSI is the same as that of children conceived naturally. But the child conceived by ICSI would have very low birth defects, less than 1%. According to researchers, the birth defects can be because of sex chromosome abnormalities, urinary system or genitals defects and lower quality sperm. But there are rare chances that this will happen.


However, the main risk associated with ICSI is actually a risk of IVF itself because of an increased chance of multiple births. This risk can be minimized by cautiously and attentively controlling the number of embryos that are to be transferred in the female's uterus. Multiple births i.e twins, triplets or more than that results in a high rate of risk and complications to both mother and babies.

Precautions to be taken after an ICSI treatment are :

  • Smoking should be avoided along with the consumption of alcohol.
  • Before taking any medication always consult your doctor.
  • Exercises like jogging, aerobics and weight lifting are strictly prohibited.

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Question and Answers

Hi, I am HIV positive and also gay. I want to have a baby with help of the IVF technique. Is this possible?

Indeed, HIV-positive persons can have a child conducting IVF, including same sex couples. Specialized reproduction techniques such as sperm washing could be used to eliminate the risk of HIV transmission.Talk to a fertility specialist, they can offer you a holistic approach and work in conjunction with your infectious diseases specialist to ensure successful conception and pregnancy treatment. HIV-positive individuals have viable parenting options due to the technological developments in reproductive and treatment technologies of HIV.

Answered on 18th Jan '24

Dr. Hrishikesh Pai

Dr. Hrishikesh Pai

After how many weeks ivf pregnancy is safe

Female | 41

It is generally safe after the first trimester.

Answered on 29th Nov '23

Dr. Nisarg Patel

Dr. Nisarg Patel

Good day, I have a history of tubercolosis i think 8yrs ago now im 25 and i have a live in patner for a 1year but my sperm is low or sometimes its no coming out, is the way i can be a make a baby and become a father!?

Male | 25

To address your issue, it's vital to consult a fertility specialist or doctor. They can assess your specific situation, suggest potential treatments, and advise lifestyle changes to improve fertility. Don't hesitate to seek professional guidance and consider fertility treatments if needed.

Answered on 23rd Aug '23

Dr. Pradeep Mahajan

Dr. Pradeep Mahajan

Hi sir I have problem with low sperm motility and morphology, and I had a hernia operation and we are trying to consive from 2.5 kindly give a solution for to improve the sperm motility and morphology

Male | 34

To improve sperm motility and morphology, consult a fertility specialist for personalized guidance. Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, avoiding excessive alcohol or smoking, and following a balanced diet may help. And your specialist may also recommend medications, supplements, or assisted reproductive techniques like IUI or IVF

Answered on 16th May '23

Dr. Nisarg Patel

Dr. Nisarg Patel

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