Is ICSI better than IVF?


Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a modified form of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and these procedures are Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART). Generally, couples who are planning for ART get confused between IVF and ICSI. These two procedures are more or less similar. The only difference is in the fertilization step of IVF and ICSI procedures.

Difference between IVF and ICSI are

Normally, ICSI procedure is performed in patients whose;

  • Women age is more than 38 years
  • Quality and quantity of sperm is low
  • Certain types of male surgery (Vasectomy)
  • Unsuccessful previous IVF attempts
  • Abnormality in male genital tract
  • Unknown cause of infertility
  • When PGD/PGS is required
  • If frozen sperm is being used

The success rate of ICSI and IVF are similar. However, few studies concluded that fertilization rate (pregnancy rate) is high in ICSI procedure. Commonly, ICSI procedure is used in case of male infertility. Drawbacks of ICSI procedure are:

  • Slightly higher risk of baby born with congenital malformations.
  • Requires sophisticated laboratory and expertise of the embryologist
  • ICSI necessitates the manual human selection of the sperm to be injected into the egg, hence there is no natural sperm selection process that happens in IVF.
  • Hence, ICSI gives better fertilisation rates over conventional IVF, however, the trade-off is a higher rate of chromosomal abnormality possible in the baby and hence a higher risk of miscarriage.

If a patient is planning to undergo ICSI procedure. He / She should consult a Certified Infertility Specialist.

× Request for Consultation