Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection or ICSI is a procedure for males with infertility. Your doctor may perform ICSI treatment as a part of in vitro fertilization (IVF). IN ICSI, the fertility doctor directly injects sperm into the egg.

What are the indications of ICSI?

Your fertility doctor may prescribe ICSI in the following cases:

  • Low sperm count
  • Abnormal sperm morphology
  • Abnormal sperm morphology
  • Poor sperm motility
  • The history of little or no egg fertilization during previous IVF cycles
  • When doctors need to collect sperm surgically from your testicles or epididymis. The epididymis is a narrow tube where maturation and storage of sperms occur. The indication of surgical collection of sperms are:
    • History of vasectomy
    • Presence of a blockage preventing sperm ejaculation
    • Low sperm count
  • If the doctors are using frozen sperm, not of the highest quality

When could ICSI treatment not help in treating fertility problems?

If a female partner has a history of poor-quality eggs causing problems in fertilization, then ICSI may not help.

How successful is ICSI?

If talking about ICSI alone, ICSI itself is a very successful procedure. But, since the doctors do it as a part of IVF, we cannot rule out the factors in IVF determining a successful pregnancy. So, the chance of success in ICSI is very similar to IVF and depends on factors such as the woman’s age.

How do doctors do ICSI?

ICSI will be the same as routine IVF except for one difference. In ICSI, instead of mixing the eggs with the sperm for fertilization, your embryologist will inject sperm directly into the egg. By doing this, the embryologist overcomes the inability of the sperm to get into the egg.

What are the common risks associated with ICSI?
  • • While injecting sperm eggs can damage
  • • According to some studies, ICSI treatment may cause some long-term health issues for the child. But these findings are still debatable.
  • • The boy born with ICSI may inherit some of the infertility factors from his father.

What choice will I have in case ICSI did not work?

Your doctor may advise you to wait for two to three months before trying again. This break will give you time to recover from the stress during ICSI. If you feel there are reasonable chances of success, you can again try for ICSI. Alternatively, you can discuss other options with your doctor.