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What is ICSI?

I know what IVF is, but what is ICSI?

Our Expert's Answer

This information was published 11 years ago and was correct at the time of publication. It may not reflect our current practices or regulations.

Please note that all the answers we give are on a generic basis only, as we cannot provide more in-depth answers without access to your medical history. If you need a more detailed response, tailored to you, we would recommend a consultation with one of our Fertility Specialists for more comprehensive medical advice.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection – ICSI – is used in conjunction with a traditional IVF procedure when the fertility issue lies with sperm disorders, for example a low sperm count, poor quality sperm or poor sperm motility. It gives hope to people who have a sperm problem, but who want to use their own sperm to conceive and not a donor’s.

With ICSI, eggs and sperm are collected in exactly the same way as in IVF. The best sperm are selected and a single sperm is injected directly through the egg membranes to achieve fertilisation. The procedure then follows usual IVF, with embryos transferred to the woman’s uterus to continue growing as in a normal pregnancy. Read more about ICSI here.