What does it involve?

ICSI stands for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection.

The first pregnancy achieved by ICSI was in 1992. Today, this routine technique is very common in the embryology laboratory.

ICSI, which is directly involved in the first stage of fertilisation, is a variant of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) insofar as the insemination technique is concerned. Here, microscopy and micromanipulation equipment are used to introduce a single spermatozoon directly into each egg.

Observation, selection and microinjection of spermatozoa are performed with an inverted microscope at a magnification of 400 times. Although these spermatozoa are normally obtained from the ejaculate, in some specific cases such as azoospermia they may be obtained by means of testicular biopsy.

When is ICSI advisable?

ICSI is particularly advisable in cases of serious male factor infertility, in recurrent fertilisation failures in in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments and in cases of recurrent miscarriage. Because of the effectiveness and harmlessness of ICSI, its range of applications has now been extended and it is used in virtually all IVF cycles.