Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is an infertility treatment, part of in vitro fertilization (IVF), commonly used when male infertility affects conception. ICSI involves injecting live sperm directly into a person’s eggs in a laboratory, creating embryos for later implantation in the uterus.

Procedure Details: 

Ques 1 What is Intracytoplasmic?

Ans. Intracytoplasmic refers to the sperm injection occurring inside an egg’s cytoplasm, the gel-like substance in the center of an egg.

Difference from IVF:

  • ICSI is a type of IVF. While traditional IVF leaves fertilization to chance, ICSI involves the direct injection of a single sperm into a single egg, increasing the chances of fertilization.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART):

  • ICSI, like IVF, falls under assisted reproductive technology (ART), using lab-based fertility treatments with eggs and sperm outside the body.

Success Rate:

  • ICSI has a 50-80% fertilization success rate, similar to traditional IVF. Approximately 6 in 10 IVF procedures use ICSI.

Ques 2 Who Needs ICSI?

Ans ICSI is recommended for male infertility cases, including issues like low sperm count, poor sperm quality, blockages, or retrograde ejaculation.

  • Also used when traditional IVF doesn’t create embryos, the person supplying eggs is older than 35, or when using previously frozen eggs or sperm.

Ques 3 Who Performs ICSI?

Ans An Ob/Gyn, often a reproductive endocrinologist, specializes in diagnosing and treating infertility.

Before ICSI:

  1. Egg Retrieval: Ovulation induction stimulates egg production, followed by egg retrieval using a thin needle guided by ultrasound.
  2. Sperm Collection: Abstaining from ejaculation for 2-3 days, the person supplies sperm through masturbation on the same day as egg retrieval.

During ICSI:

  • The mature egg is held in place, and a single sperm is injected directly into its cytoplasm using a pipette and a thin needle.

After ICSI:

  • The fertilized egg (embryo) is monitored for signs of successful fertilization. An embryo transfer into the uterus typically occurs on the fifth or sixth day.


  • ICSI is more successful in male infertility cases compared to traditional IVF. Some centers use ICSI for all cases, regardless of infertility diagnosis.


  • Complications may include egg damage, failed fertilization, or embryo developmental issues.

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