ProcreaWinnipeg, Manitoba

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) involves depositing a single sperm directly into the cytoplasm of a mature egg using a micromanipulation tool. Other than the micromanipulation process and subtle differences in semen process, all aspects of ICSI treatment are the same as those for IVF. ICSI is performed during a routine IVF cycle.

Steps 1 through 4 as well as 6 of this process are the same as those for IVF. (*See IVF for more details) Step 5 includes the ICSI procedure along with embryo development. A single suitable sperm is loaded into a small injection pipette. A second pipette is used to hold the egg while the injection pipette is passed through the outer wall of the egg (zona pellucida) and into the egg cytoplasm. The egg is released once the injection pipette is removed.

Success Rate

Fertilization rates for ICSI are in the range of 60% - 70%. Individual pregnancy rates vary depending on female age, day 2-3 FSH levels and sperm quality.


The most common complication of ICSI treatments is multiple pregnancy, which occur in approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies. As a precaution, no more than three embryos are returned to the uterus during embryo transfer. Hyperstimulation syndrome, enlarged ovaries and fluid accumulation in the abdomen, occurs in about 2-5% of ICSI cycles. A possible increase in chromosomal abnormalities is possible.


This procedure is ideal for couples diagnosed with severe male factor infertility. In the past, low sperm numbers and/or poor sperm motility necessitated the use of therapeutic donor insemination (TDI). Since ICSI theoretically requires only one motile sperm per egg, many of these couples now have a realistic hope of conceiving and giving birth to their own biological offspring.

Potential candidates also include patients with failed vasectomy reversals and those experiencing repeated fertilization failure in previous IVF cycles.

« Fertilization rates for ICSI are in the range of 60% - 70%. »