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Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

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Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Alongside a standard IVF treatment, we can also provide intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). ICSI treatment involves injecting a single sperm directly into the egg, to increase the chances of fertilisation.

When is ICSI recommended in IVF treatment?

  • When the number of sperm is limited (less than 10 million sperm per millilitre), making it unsuitable for conventional IVF treatment.

  • When sperm has been collected surgically.

  • When there are morphological disorders - for instance, if the sperm's head doesn't have the correct shape to allow it to penetrate and fertilise the egg.

  • An earlier attempt at fertilisation has been unsuccessful ("null fertilisation"), this includes no or low fertilisation with a previous IVF treatment.

  • Occasionally, your fertility specialist may recommend ICSI even if no sperm concerns are present. This is because ICSI has been shown to help improve success rates for couples that have not been successful with IVF in previous cycles.

What is the difference between ICSI and IVF?

The difference between ICSI and IVF is what happens in the laboratory. The patient journey is largely the same. For IVF, the collected eggs are placed in a petri dish, with the prepared sperm, before being left for fertilisation to hopefully occur. For ICSI, each egg that has matured is injected with a single sperm. Whether your treatment involves standard IVF or ICSI, eggs are placed into an incubator in the laboratory and monitored for signs of fertilisation.

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