Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Infertility is a growing issue faced by couples. Thankfully, many advancements in fertility have made it possible to have successful pregnancies despite fertility issues. Procedures like in-vitro fertilization (IVF) are a boon for couples trying to conceive. 

The IVF procedure usually involves fertilizing the egg outside the mother and introducing the growing fetus into the womb. However, some IVF procedures are incomplete without other assisted techniques like ICSI or intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection.

For fertilization to take place, the sperm needs to penetrate the outer layer of the egg. For this to happen, it should first attach its tail to the egg. In most IVF procedures this happens naturally. Healthy sperm are collected and placed around the egg. Fertilization happens if one of them attaches itself to the egg and reaches the cytoplasm.

When this does not happen naturally, doctors employ a procedure called Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

What Is ICSI?

ICSI is the procedure in which doctors use a tiny needle called a micropipette to inject sperm directly into the egg. This is done when the sperm does not attach to the egg naturally. This procedure is often a part of an IVF procedure. 

All IVF procedures do not need ICSI. In most cases, healthy sperm can attach itself to an egg, leading to fertilization.

Who Requires ICSI?

Anyone battling fertility issues or seeking IVF treatment may require an additional ICSI procedure. Doctors may recommend ICSI as part of an IVF treatment if the sperm is not able to attach itself to the egg. This may happen due to the low quality or sluggish movement of the sperm or the smaller quantity of semen provided.

If the sperm is of low quality, it may not be able to swim to the egg or pierce its tough outer layer. In such cases, an ICSI procedure can greatly increase the chances of fertilization. 

Why is ICSI conducted?

Your doctor may recommend an ICSI along with the regular IVF procedure if you are experiencing male fertility issues such as:

  • Low sperm count 
  • Abnormally shaped sperm
  • Anejaculation or the inability to ejaculate
  • Blockage in the male reproductive system
  • Retrograde ejaculation (when the sperm flows backwards into the bladder)
  • History of failed IVF procedures
  • The male partner is older than 35 and has a history of obesity-related issues
  • If frozen eggs or sperm are used for the IVF treatment. 

Depending on your case, your fertility doctor may or may not recommend this procedure. Talk to your healthcare provider by visiting the best fertility hospital near you

Request an Appointment at 

Apollo Fertility, Varthur

Call 1860 500 4424 to book an appointment

How is ICSI done?

ICSI is done after eggs are retrieved and sperm samples are collected and analyzed. A single healthy sperm is collected and injected into the egg to improve the chances of fertilization. This process is repeated for other eggs.

What Are the Benefits of ICSI?

According to research, ICSI has resulted in more successful pregnancies than normal fertilization methods. This procedure may be an integral part of your IVF treatment if you are experiencing male fertility issues. In addition, ICSI on frozen eggs or sperm can lead to better chances of their fertilization as such sperm may not be active swimmers. 

What Are the Risks or Complications of ICSI?

Just like any procedure, Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) carries certain risks such as:

  • Damage to the eggs during the procedure
  • The inability of the sperm to fertilize the egg following the injection.
  • Fertilization takes place but the embryo stops developing once inside the womb. 
  • Birth defects in babies, although rare are associated with ICSI.


ICSI is a procedure that can aid fertilization if done in the right manner. If you are experiencing fertility issues, visit a fertility expert for proper treatment and care.

Request an Appointment at 
Apollo Fertility, Varthur
Call 1860 500 4424 to book an appointment.

1. Are ICSI babies at risk of premature birth?

Studies show that IVF babies, not just ICSI babies are twice likely to be born prematurely than their naturally conceived counterparts. Having an ICSI procedure will significantly increase your chances of fertilization, but may not impact your pregnancy.

2. Can ICSI affect my baby’s development?

In natural settings, the best sperm ends up fertilizing the egg. However, in ICSI, one of the healthy sperm is manually injected into the egg. Although rare, ICSI babies are more prone to health issues in life. Most babies born through ICSI and IVF lead normal lives.

3. Does ICSI increase my chances of multiple pregnancies?

ICSI fertilizes an egg by injecting a healthy sperm. It creates a single embryo. It does not increase your chances of having multiple pregnancies. Sometimes, doctors insert multiple fertilized eggs into the uterus to increase the chances of pregnancy during IVF. Hence, if you have had an IVF treatment with multiple embryos, you may have multiple pregnancies.

4. Does ICSI pick the best sperm?

Yes. Often during the procedure, embryologists use the best-looking sperm from the sample using a fine glass needle for injecting into the egg.

5. Are there more chances of a baby boy through the ICSI procedure?

The gender of the fetus cannot be selected through ICSI or IVF procedures. The gender of the fetus is assigned by nature after fertilisation. Therefore, it cannot be altered or changed.

Book an Appointment




Ovulation Calculator