Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a procedure which can be used as part of IVF treatment. It takes place within the laboratory and involves an embryologist individually selecting the healthiest sperm and injecting directly into an egg to facilitate fertilisation. It's often recommended for couples and men experiencing male factor fertility issues.

Monitor laboratorio ICSI

What is ICSI?

When is ICSI recommended?

Your consultant may recommend adding ICSI to an IVF treatment in the following cases:

  • Men with a low sperm count, sperm motility problems or poor sperm morphology
  • Men who have had a vasectomy
  • Men who have difficulty ejaculating normally, such as in cases of retrograde ejaculation
  • Men who have frozen sperm samples and have since had a vasectomy or undergone chemotherapy or radiotherapy (allowing limited samples to be used in a way that is most effective)
  • Couples who have had several cycles of unsuccessful IVF
  • Couples or women who have obtained a small number of eggs during egg collection
  • In cases where it is necessary to identify healthy embryos using pre-implantation genetic testing (PGT)

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)


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During your first visit, your consultant will discuss your medical history and advise which fertility treatments will be most effective given your specific circumstances. If it is recommended that you undergo an in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment with ICSI, then we will create a treatment pathway for you which is as follows:

Ovarian stimulation

Equipo ICSI trabajando

Depending on the chosen stimulation protocol, the stimulation process should take between 10 – 20 days and will require regular visits to the clinic. During this time, you may also be required to take specific medication to help prepare your body for the IVF treatment. Your medical team will indicate which medication is needed and the recommended dosage based on your unique requirements. This often involves a series of daily hormone injections, which are administered at home, to stimulate follicle growth. We track the follicle growth through frequent monitoring ultrasound scans and blood tests to assess serum levels in the blood.

Egg collection

Egg collection


ICSI procedure
Embryo culture in the laboratory

Embryo culture in the laboratory

Embryo transfer

Embryo transfer
Freezing additional embryos

Freezing additional embryos


The main differences between IVF and ICSI lie in the fertilisation method and how the sperm are selected. In IVF, the oocyte is co-incubated with the sperm, allowing fertilisation to occur under conditions that simulate the natural process, whereas during ICSI, the embryologist selects the individual sperm to be microinjected directly into the oocyte cytoplasm for fertilisation to occur.

Fertilisation rates after ICSI are between 77-80%.

ICSI carries slightly higher risks than other fertility treatments, including the risk of damage to the oocyte when the sperm is microinjected. In addition, although there is no strong, conclusive evidence, it has been suggested that ICSI may be associated with long-term health problems in newborns.

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