ICSI Treatment

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a form of IVF treatment that involves injecting a single sperm into each egg using very fine micromanipulation equipment.

As the human egg is one-tenth of a millimetre in diameter and the sperm 100 times smaller this is a very delicate procedure performed by highly skilled embryologists using a sophisticated microscope.


Who May Require ICSI?

For many couples where sperm quality is poor, conventional IVF is unlikely to result in fertilisation. In such cases your fertility specialist will recommend IVF with ICSI. ICSI is also used where sperm have been obtained directly from the testis, for example after vasectomy reversal or in cases of absent vas deferens.

ICSI has not been shown to increase fertilisation rates in situations where the sperm assessment is normal. Normal fertilisation rates with IVF or ICSI are approximately 50-60%. That is, for every 10 mature eggs obtained and combined with the sperm either with IVF or ICSI, approximately five to six will fertilise normally.

If there is evidence of poor outcomes with previous ICSI treatment, your Melbourne IVF fertility specialist may recommend you undergo Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI) to improve your chances of pregnancy success.

Are There Potential Risks With ICSI?

Most pregnancies conceived by ICSI proceed without complications. However, compared to spontaneous conceptions, both IVF and ICSI carry a small increase in the risk of still birth, premature birth, low birth weight and multiple birth. The risk of miscarriage after ICSI is around 20% which is the same as after IVF.

One child in 14 conceived by ICSI have a birth defect. This is similar to the rate seen after IVF, but higher than in the general population, where birth defects occur in one in 25 children.

The vast majority of babies born as a result of ICSI are healthy and have no short or long-term problems. When health effects are found, it is difficult to determine whether these are due to the underlying health problems that contribute to infertility, the egg and/or sperm retrieval processes, or the ICSI procedure


To learn more about ICSI and associated costs, please visit


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