Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) was introduced in clinical practice to help overcome male factor infertility issues. With ICSI, only a small number of sperm are required. Embryologists use specialist equipment to inject sperm individually into each egg under a microscope with high magnification.

When is ICSI suitable?

Your doctor will discuss if ICSI is a suitable fertilisation method for your treatment. Indications for ICSI may include low sperm count (how many there are), low sperm motility (how they move), low sperm morphology (how they look) and previous failed fertilisation with IVF. 

How is ICSI performed?

ICSI is a method used to fertilise eggs during IVF. After egg collection, the eggs would first be assessed for maturity, as only mature eggs may be injected. Sperm would be selected under a high microscopic magnification and injected directly into the egg with a small needle. 

Are there any risks with ICSI? 

Risks with ICSI include increased risk to the eggs when they’re cleaned to assess maturity and injected with the sperm. There’s also an increased risk of long-term health conditions in children born following ICSI, however, the research is not conclusive as to whether the risk is from the ICSI procedure itself or the male factor infertility of the father.

What are my chances of getting pregnant with ICSI?

ICSI can increase fertilisation rates compared to IVF without ICSI, but the chances of falling pregnant are similar. The most recent data from the HFEA shows that the average birth rate is 24% following IVF treatment.