Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

ICSI is a lab technique whereby a single sperm is selected for injection into each egg in order to increase the rate of fertilisation for couples with poor sperm quality.

Who is it for?

ICSI is a variant of IVF carried out when semen quality appears very poor

  • Very low sperm count (oligozoospermia)
  • Very poor sperm motility (asthenozoospermia)
  • Very low numbers of normal sperm (teratozoospermia)

These problems can occur in isolation or frequently in combination with each other. They are identified at initial semen analysis and confirmed following a repeat semen analysis with specialised sperm preparation.

What does ICSI involve?

In ICSI, the female undergoes an IVF treatment cycle (see IVF). Following egg collection, instead of mixing the sperm and eggs in a petri dish and allowing fertilisation to occur a specialised laboratory procedure is used to help the sperms fertilise the egg.

This involves directly injecting a single moving sperm into each of the collected eggs. Once the procedure is complete, the eggs injected with sperm are monitored over a 24 hour period to check if fertilisation has occurred. Click here for our ICSI video clip.

After fertilisation has been achieved, the embryos are incubated in a high quality culture medium for three to five days from egg collection. The best embryo(s) are then selected for transfer into the womb.

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