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Overview about ICSI

ICSI is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedure used to address male infertility issues, particularly when the sperm count, motility, or morphology is compromised. It involves the direct injection of a single sperm cell into an egg to facilitate fertilization. This method bypasses natural barriers to fertilization, such as the need for sperm to penetrate the egg's outer layer (zona pellucida), thus increasing the chances of successful fertilization.

ICSI has revolutionized the treatment of severe male infertility and has helped many couples achieve pregnancy. It offers hope to individuals with low sperm count, poor sperm motility, abnormal sperm morphology, or previous failed fertilization attempts with conventional IVF. However, like any medical procedure, ICSI carries certain risks and may not be suitable for everyone. Therefore, it's essential for couples to consult with fertility specialists to determine the most appropriate treatment plan based on their specific circumstances.

Who are the ideal candidates for the ICSI procedure?

  • Sterile males (having male infertility factor) with an abnormal semen analysis
  • Poor fertilization carried out previously with In-vitro fertilization
  • Low sperm motility
  • Issues with sperm development
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Frozen sperm who look inactive and frozen eggs that have hardened eggshells
  • Couples who want to test for some genetic issues i.e. by Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

ICSI Process

Couples recommended for ICSI are required to go through a number of investigations and procedures:

Step 01

Ovarian Stimulation

Medications are administered to stimulate the ovaries over a period of approximately 8 to 14 days, encouraging the production of numerous mature eggs, thereby enhancing the likelihood of success.

Step 02


In the laboratory, the male, whether an intended parent or a sperm donor, is requested to provide a sperm sample in an ejaculation cup, or the sperm may be retrieved through other methods. Occasionally, the sperm is collected, processed, and then frozen until needed for subsequent procedures. Conversely, multiple eggs are extracted from the ovaries of females using a small needle and ultrasound probe.

Step 03


Under a microscope, the embryologist meticulously injects the highest quality sperm into each mature egg.

Step 04

Embryo Development

Following fertilization, embryos are closely monitored and permitted to develop for a period ranging from 3 to 5 days, with the goal of obtaining high-quality embryos.

Step 05

Embryo Transfer

Using an ultrasound-guided catheter, one or two embryos are selected and transferred to the female partner's womb once they have reached a specific stage of development. This transfer may occur either two days or five days after conception.

Step 06

Pregnancy Test

A pregnancy test is conducted two weeks following the embryo transfer to confirm pregnancy.

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ICSI Related FAQ

ICSI, or intracytoplasmic sperm injection, is specifically tailored to tackle male infertility concerns. It entails the direct injection of a sperm into an egg, enhancing the probability of successful fertilization. Individuals experiencing reduced sperm motility, low sperm count, or abnormal sperm morphology can greatly enhance their chances of pregnancy through ICSI fertility treatment.

In the process of IVF treatment, several sperm are placed adjacent to the egg in a dish to facilitate fertilization. Conversely, in ICSI treatment, a solitary sperm is precisely injected into the nucleus of the egg.

For Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), only a small quantity of sperm is typically required, as each egg only needs one sperm for fertilization. A small semen sample is usually collected, and a single sperm is meticulously chosen and injected directly into the egg using a microscopic needle. This procedure is usually conducted in a laboratory environment and is supervised by a trained embryologist.

Between 12 to 14 days after the embryo transfer, a doctor will arrange for a blood test to assess the hCG hormone levels. The test results will indicate whether the outcome is positive or negative.

The ICSI procedure is generally painless as it involves microscopic handling of eggs and sperm in a laboratory environment. Patients typically do not experience discomfort during or after the procedure. Any slight discomfort usually stems from related procedures such as egg retrieval, which can be effectively managed with medication, thus ensuring minimal discomfort.

If previous IVF attempts didn't result in successful fertilization, ICSI IVF can serve as a promising alternative. By directly injecting sperm into the egg, ICSI infertility treatment addresses specific challenges encountered in traditional IVF, offering improved prospects for achieving pregnancy