ICSI or Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection is a form of IVF treatment and is used in couples with male factor infertility. It involves injecting a sperm directly into the egg for fertilization. The process is similar to that of IVF but differs in the way the egg is fertilized. In IVF, the sperm fertilizes the egg on its own in the laboratory. But in case of men with low, abnormal or no sperm count or ejaculation problems, the sperm is unable to fertilize the egg normally. As such it needs to be injected into the egg to fertilize it. In such cases ICSI is the only option.

Ideal Candidate for ICSI
In many cases of IVF, the sperm is unable to get to the egg or even if it does get to the egg it is not able to fertilize it for some reason. In ICSI the sperm does not have to travel to the egg nor does it have to penetrate it to fertilize it. Thus is it an effective method of treatment for men who have the following conditions.

  • Very low sperm count
  • Poor morphology or motility of sperm
  • Prior history of vasectomy or injury such that sperm can’t be ejaculated. In such cases the sperm is collected from the testicles or epididymis
  • Ejaculation or erection problems due to spinal cord injuries or diabetes etc

Procedure The procedure is same as that carried out in IVF treatment. The only difference lies in the method of fertilization of the egg. The process involves

  • Stimulation of ovaries or Super ovulation using fertility drugs to produce several mature eggs.
  • Retrieval of eggs from ovary when they are ready for collection.
  • Sperm Extraction: This can be done by ejaculating a sample specimen. If the sample contains no sperm then it can extracted using a fine needle under an anesthesia from the
    • Epididymis- known as PESA or Percutaneous Sperm Aspiration OR
    • Testicles – known as TESA or Testicular Sperm Aspiration
    • Testicular Tissue- small quantity of testicular tissue is removed and sperm extracted known as TESE or Testicular Sperm Extraction
  • Individual sperm is then isolated and injected into the egg
  • The eggs get fertilized the next morning and divide to form embryos.
  • One to three best quality embryos are transferred to the womb
  • Unused good quality embryos are stored for future use in case the first cycle fails.


  • Risk of Multiple pregnancies as in case of IVF
  • During natural conception only the best sperm fertilize the egg whereas in ICSI those selected by the embryologist fertilize the egg..
ICSI is one of the common techniques used in ART and has significant success rates. Success also depends on the associated fertility problem and age. Fix up an appointment with our fertility specialist who can give you personalized assessment of your chances of conception and the right treatment procedure for you.

Finding a Suitable Donor You can use the eggs from an anonymous donor. The donor needs to be screened for genetic disorders and other physical and background checks are performed. You can talk to our specialist who may help you find a suitable donor.

The procedure is carried out in a similar way as IVF. In this case both you and the donor would be required to take hormones to get your reproductive cycles in sync. You would be put on estrogen hormones to prepare the uterus lining to receive the embryo. The donor is given fertility drugs to produce several mature eggs. Once the donor is ready the mature eggs are retrieved and fertilized. The embryos are then transferred to your body and you would be put on progesterone for a period of about 10 weeks after this.
Unused donor eggs can be frozen and used later if required. Since donor eggs are used from young women, the chances of getting pregnant are high in women above 40 who choose IVF treatment. To know more about the procedure and the associated legal and monetary aspects of the treatment talk to our team of specialists today.

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