What is ICSI treatment?

Authors: Lisa Holliman

Updated: 11/28/2021 | Originally published on 11/28/2021

With the rise of infertility cases, Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has become a popular option for couples who suffer from various conditions. ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) has become one the most common male infertility treatment, as it is an alternative for In Vitro Fertilization and has a higher success rate.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a specialized treatment that is sometimes done as a part of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)a> to treat severe cases of male infertility.

The ICSI treatment involves injecting single sperm cells into the center of each egg using micro-manipulation equipment. It is a treatment created to assist couples who had failed to fertilize in a previous In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) attempt to achieve conception. The method removes many of the obstacles to fertilization, allowing couples with slim chances of conceiving to acquire viable embryos.

couple holding baby shoes

Who is ICSI for?

Most fertility clinics would recommend ICSI to couples having problems with conception to increase the possibility of a successful result. While it is necessary for success in some cases, it is not always needed.

ICSI treatment is necessary for cases of male factor infertility, however, almost 75 percent of all IVF procedures use ICSI in an attempt to increase the possibility of a positive outcome whether the cause is male infertility or not.

There is no benefit when ICSI is used in IVF treatments with no male factor infertility and given the additional costs and potential downsides, patients must understand whether or not ICSI will help them achieve success in their case.

ICSI is recommended if:

If the issue with conception has not been identified as male infertility then the same results would be gotten with or without ICSI.

Why is ICSI needed?

ICSI is needed for a vast number of reasons, some of which are:

The use of ICSI treatment has helped more patients to successfully bring the child they’ve been longing for into the world.

Why ICSI fails?

The rate of fertilization after ICSI is roughly 70-80%. This means that although the treatment increases the possibility of fertilization, it does not guarantee a positive result.

Total fertilization failure (TFF), or the failure of all oocytes to fertilize, occurs in 5–10% of IVF cycles. Human oocytes still fail to fertilize almost 30% of the time after Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), and TFF occurs in 2–3% of ICSI cycles. In IVF, sperm abnormalities are the most common cause of fertilization failure, while in ICSI, oocyte activation problems are the most common reason.

Failed fertilization can be caused by different reasons. Some of which are:


The ‘go-to’ treatment for patients looking for fertility treatment is IVF because it might be more common in certain areas and amongst certain people. ICSI treatment is another worthy, and more affordable fertility treatment option that can increase success rates depending on the patient.

As a mother or father-to-be, we implore you to find the best fertility clinic, have a good talk with your doctor, consider all your options thoroughly, and then prepare yourself for the baby on the way.

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