ICSI – or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection - is a fertilisation technique used in IVF. It involves injecting a single healthy sperm into each egg to maximise the chance of fertilisation.
ICSI is the most common treatment for male fertility problems. As the sperm directly fertilises the eggs, any issues with sperm movement or number can be overcome, giving men with sperm problems the chance to become fathers.
ICSI may also be used to fertilise eggs that have previously been frozen, donor eggs or used when sperm has been retrieved surgically.
ICSI may be advised if:
- You have a low sperm count
- Your sperm has poor motility
- You are using sperm recovered through Surgical Sperm Retrieval
- Your sperm has high levels of DNA damage
- You have had previous failed fertilisation from conventional IVF
- You are using donor eggs
- You are using frozen eggs
ICSI follows exactly the same process as an IVF cycle. It is only the fertilisation technique that is different.
The first stage of ICSI, just like IVF, is ovarian stimulation. This involves using tailored doses of fertility drugs to help you produce mature eggs.
Around 35-38 hours after the ‘trigger’ injection, egg retrieval takes place in our clinic theatre under ultrasound guidance and conscious sedation. The eggs are retrieved from the follicles.
Insemination of eggs
The sperm sample is washed and prepared. Our expert embryology team identify and select the best healthy sperm from your sample. We look for active sperm that are moving well, and are shaped normally. Each egg is then inseminated by an individual sperm under the microscope.
We monitor your eggs for signs of fertilisation. This usually occurs 16-18 hours after insemination.
The created embryos are placed in an incubator to continue their development for the next two to five days. Our embryologists keep you updated on the progress of your embryos and advise when your embryo transfer will take place.
The embryo chosen by our embryologists is transferred under ultrasound guidance into your uterus by our fertility consultants, in our specially-designed embryo transfer room.
Any remaining good quality embryos that are not transferred are frozen and stored. Frozen embryos can be used in subsequent cycles if the first cycle is not successful or for sibling pregnancy.
You can take a home pregnancy test around two weeks after your embryo transfer. During this time, you will be supported by our clinic midwife. If your test is positive, you will be booked in for your pregnancy confirmation scan at 6-7 weeks of pregnancy.
As a specialist male fertility clinic, Manchester Fertility has over 30 years of ICSI expertise and consistent patient success.
Our focus is on individualised treatment to help you on achieving a healthy pregnancy and baby, which means we only offer ICSI if we believe it is necessary and will make a difference to your outcome.
We do not advise ICSI if conventional IVF would be just as likely to work, giving you confidence and trust in your treatment with us. Learn more about our approach and meet some of the many families we have created.
- IVF/ICSI consultation & planning
- Injection teaching
- Blood tests & monitoring scans
- Ultrasound-guided egg collection & sedation
- Sperm preparation & insemination using ICSI
- Embryo culture to advanced Blastocyst stage
- Embryo transfer using EmbryoGlue
- Pregnancy scan or follow-up consultation
Or you can choose to fund your ICSI cycle through an ICSI treatment package, which gives you fixed-cost peace of mind.
* Medication costs (£800-£2300) & HFEA fee are charged separately. You will be given a full breakdown of your ICSI cycle’s costs at your consultation.
ICSI would not usually be recommended when IVF would be effective, for instance where the male partner does not have any sperm disorders or where the cause is with the female partner. Your IVF consultant will advise if ICSI is suitable for you.
We offer a comprehensive, private male fertility assessment that includes a semen analysis and consultation with a male fertility specialist.
We not only check your sperm count, shape, mobility and more, but also look at your lifestyle and overall health, to make sure there is nothing that could cause fertility issues for you now and in the future.
If a fertility issue is found, your consultant will advise next steps. Whether that involves treatment when you are ready to conceive, or expert advice to help improve your sperm health so you can conceive naturally.
It is normal to have some level of sperm DNA damage. But some men have higher levels, which can be a hidden cause of infertility, miscarriage and failed IVF.
We can perform a test called SpermComet, which looks at the amount of DNA damage in each individual sperm in your sample. If you do have high levels of DNA damage, ICSI treatment can help you to have a baby. Your consultant will advise if you should have a SpermComet test, based on your previous fertility and medical history.