What is the difference between IVF and ICSI?

9th June 2022 in Fertility, Infertility, IVF, Treatments, Male fertility

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

Manchester Fertility | IVF vs ICSI

Are you currently researching the various fertility options and wondering what the differences are? As one of the UK’s leading fertility clinics, we are here to help you understand the difference between two of the most common treatments, IVF and ICSI.

What is IVF?

In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF); is an established fertility treatment used to help families who are unable to conceive naturally have a baby. 

During the IVF treatment, a woman's eggs are retrieved and then combined with partner or donor sperm in our state-of-the-art laboratory overnight.

Once your eggs have fertilised and become embryos, they are then monitored in our advanced incubator for five days so they can continue to develop.

Our expert embryologists, who are highly experienced in embryo development and selection, will then use time-lapse monitoring to select the best embryo to be transferred into your uterus and develop into a pregnancy.

If you have more than one good embryo, you can choose to freeze the remaining ones to use for future treatment. 

IVF is often recommended

  • Damaged or blocked fallopian tubes
  • Unexplained fertility
  • Difficulty in ovulation
  • Older women
  • Low ovarian reserve.

What is ICSI?

ICSI stands for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), it is a fertility technique used in conjunction with IVF. This procedure is when a single sperm is selected by our embryologist and then directly inserted into the egg for fertilisation. This can help reduce any problems and increase the chance of the egg becoming fertilised.

ICSI is the most commonly used if there are male infertility, such as

  • Low sperm count
  • Decreased sperm motility
  • High numbers of abnormal sperm

However, it may also be advised if you use frozen eggs or frozen sperm.  It can also be recommended if you have had a previous failed fertilisation from traditional IVF.

The developing stage of the embryos remains the same as the IVF process.  

How IVF differs from ICSI?

Whether you have treatment with IVF or ICSI, it almost has an identical process. However, they are slightly different in how the sperm fertilises the egg.

If you have chosen IVF, thousands of sperm are mixed with your eggs and left to be fertilised overnight, whereas, during ICSI, the embryologists will inject a single sperm into each egg under a microscope. For both treatments, the sperm samples will be washed and prepared.

Embryologists monitor the embryos in the incubator for up to five days and continue with the best embryo for transfer, just like they do in the IVF process.

ICSI is often advised if the male partner does have infertility issues with his sperm, and our expert specialists have advised this treatment path.

However, every one’s circumstances are different and patients are treated individually. A tailored treatment plan is put in place by our leading fertility specialists to give you the best chance of pregnancy.

Should I choose IVF or ICSI?

The results of your fertility tests and a consultation with one of our fertility specialists can help you decide which fertility treatment is right for you. Our experts will always work with you to make you fully aware of your treatment plan, process and pricing before you begin your chosen treatment.

Whether IVF or ICSI is the fertility treatment you choose, our team of experts at Manchester Fertility is always here to provide personalised patient-focused care and support you throughout your journey.

Are you ready to start your fertility journey with us?

If you are researching the best IVF treatment for you, we can help you get started.

Our experienced, knowledgeable Patient Coordinators have an excellent understanding of the IVF process and all our treatments. They are here to help you feel fully informed and supported and will be at the end of the telephone to answer any questions you may have.

You can now book a free 1-2-1 discovery appointment with our dedicated, caring New Patient Coordinator Team or you can call us on 0161 300 2737.

Last updated: 9th June 2022