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What is ICSI

  • 4.7 (5 Votes)

ICSI is a infertility treatment for male infertility, which include IVF treatment or IVF procedure. This infertility treatment is used to cure sperm related issues in order to make test tube baby successful

ICSI is a process in which a single sperm is directly injected into an egg to fertilize it and then the fertilized egg is transferred into the womb and one of the infertility treatment. It is one the best cost-effective and successful treatment. This method is especially for men who have low or zero sperm count or motility. In the case of zero sperm count or when the male partner is uptight to ejaculate on the day of egg collection for IVF procedure or IVF treatment, the sperm is extracted either from testicles (using TESA) or epididymis (using MESA).

A sharp and delicate needle is used to extract a sperm and then it is injected into the egg, after which the needle is removed. The success rate of ICSI is higher than IVF as an infertility treatment. The success rate of ICSI treatment is directly proportional to the age: the younger the patient is; the higher are the chances of success.

Sometimes, due to physiological deficiencies that may lead to the drastic reduction or absence in the production of gametes or due to poor gamete quality or defects in the interaction, the process of fertilization can be diminished.

From the Assisted Reproduction Techniques (ART) perspective there are two main approaches to overcome these deficiencies: Conventional In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).

ICSI treatment, IVF treatment

Who is IVF-ICSI Treatment Recommended for?

ICSI treatment-IVF treatment is for the couples who have had poor or no fertilization during standard IVF treatment or IVF procedure, as well as men who have:

  • Poor sperm morphology
  • Poor sperm motility (slow moving)
  • A low sperm count
  • An obstruction such as a vasectomy, which prevents sperm release
  • Antisperm antibodies
  • A vasectomy reversal that was unsuccessful or resulted in a low sperm count or poor-quality sperm

Are There Any Specific Situations Where ICSI Might Be Recommended?

ICSI treatment may be recommended only when there is a reason to suspect that achieving fertilization naturally may be difficult.

ICSI treatment is most often used by the couples who are dealing with male infertility. Male infertility factor includes any of the following: Low sperm counts, poor motility or movement of the sperm, poor sperm quality, sperm that lack the ability to penetrate an egg or azoospermia.

Azoospermia is a medical condition where there is no sperm discharge through the male’s ejaculation. There are two types of azoospermia: obstructive and non-obstructive.

ICSI treatment

Obstructive azoospermia may be caused by any of the following:

  • Previous vasectomy
  • Congenital absence of vas
  • Scarring from prior infections

Non-obstructive azoospermia occurs when a defective testicle is not producing healthy sperm count. In the case of azoospermia, the probability of obtaining healthy sperm is very low.

Why is ICSI done?

1- ICSI is used to treat male infertility where little or no sperm is ejaculated in the semen. Immature sperm retrieved from the testicles usually can't move and are more likely to fertilize an egg through ICSI.

2- ICSI treatment can be used when a couple's infertility is not related to the problem of sperms. Some couples choose to try ICSI treatment after repeat in vitro fertilization that has not worked.

3- ICSI is also used by the couples who plan to test the embryo for certain genetic problems. ICSI uses only one sperm for each egg.

Also, read what Treatments Are Used for Infertility Issues in Couples. You can also explore what is Male Infertility and what are the treatments available for it.

Dr. Neha Gupta

About The Author

Infertility Specialist, IVF Specialist Dr. Neha Gupta

Dr. Neha Gupta is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in Gurgaon. She has been practicing for many years now. Her rich experience in Normal Vaginal Delivery, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Hysterectomy and Tubectomy makes her the most preferred names in Gurgaon. She has acquired MBBS in 2004, DNB from National Board of Examinations in 2009 and MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology from Maulana Azad Medical College in 2009. She is a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London. Dr. Neha Gupta has an expertise in Intrauterine Insemination and is practicing at Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon. You can get the contact details of Dr. Neha Gupta at


  1. Repeated ivf failures, common causes and tips to prevent it infertility treatment, Elawoman - 2017
  2. Best ways to boost sperm count and increase male fertility sperm count, Elawoman - 2017
  3. Male infertility treatment with tesa TESA, Elawoman - 2017
  4. All you need to know about mesa MESA, Elawoman - 2017
  5. What is in-vitro fertilization (ivf) and its needs IVF treatment, Elawoman - 2017
  6. Male infertility and its causes and treatments male infertility, Elawoman - 2017
  7. When to take birth control shots sperm, Elawoman - 2017
  8. Treatments used for infertility issues in couples Treatments Are Used for Infertility Issues in Couples, Elawoman - 2017
  9. Treatment for male infertility Male Infertility, Elawoman - 2017



Nitanand Tiwari

I have abnormal sperm morphology, Can I take ICSI treatment? Please suggest some clinics.

Oct. 11, 2018, 10:51 p.m. 4.5


Malik Khatun

Thanks for sharing this informative piece. We have much more advanced method than ICSI now and i.e IMSI. Higher success rate and treatment assurance.

Feb. 27, 2018, 5:09 p.m. 5.0


Preeti Talwar

ICSI treatment is much effective than IVF if the treatment is carried out at a younger age. With the growing age, sperm starts losing its motility. Going for the treatment early is much fruitful.

Aug. 26, 2017, 3:44 p.m. 5.0


Radhika Pal

ICSI is one step ahead of a standard IVF. Selection of sperms as per quality increases success rate.

Aug. 26, 2017, 3:42 p.m. 4.5


Manmeet Sharma

Couples dealing with male infertility can go for ICSI treatment. However, avocados and walnuts can help in boosting male infertility naturally.

Aug. 26, 2017, 1:14 p.m. 4.5

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