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Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

ICSI – or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection – is a fertilization technique used in IVF. It involves injecting a single healthy sperm selected under high magnifications lens into each egg to maximize the chance of fertilization.

ICSI is the most common treatment for male fertility problems. As the sperm directly fertilizes 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 fertilize eggs that have previously been frozen, donor eggs or used when sperm has been retrieved surgically.

Indications for ICSI

  • Low sperm count, motility and morphology (OATS)
  • Sperm recovered through Surgical Sperm Retrieval
  • Sperm has high levels of DNA damage
  • Previous failed fertilization from conventional IVF
  • Use of frozen eggs

Steps Of ICSI

Ovarian Stimulation

The first stage of ICSI, just like IVF, is ovarian stimulation. This involves using tailored doses of fertility drugs to help you produce multiple eggs.

Egg collection

Around 34-36 hours after the ‘trigger’ injection, egg retrieval takes place under ultrasound guidance and conscious sedation. The eggs are retrieved from the follicles.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection

The semen sample is washed and prosessed. Under high magnification lens, the best sperm by morphological criteria is selected for injection into individual eggs with the intention of fertilization.


Around 16 to 18 hours after injection, fertilization is assessed. Rest of further development of embryos is similar to IVF procedure.

Embryo transfer or vitrification

The embryos formed are either frozen or transferred into woman’s womb after 3 to 5 days of egg retrieval depending upon patient’s clinical profile.

ICSI procedure has been a boon to many couples with severe male factor infertility who would have otherwise failed with conventional IVF, as IVF requires a minimum sperm count and motility to achieve fertilization. Fertilization can be achieved with ICSI with a single available sperm also