Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Unlocking IVF success with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

What is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)?

ICSI is a method used for fertilization of an egg during IVF. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection was first developed as a fertility treatment for couples in which the male had low sperm counts or low sperm motility. Without ICSI, these couples had a high rate of fertilization failure using standard IVF. Since its introduction, ICSI revolutionized the treatment of male infertility. ICSI has been so successful, that it is used as the fertilization method of choice for most couples.

How does ICSI work and who needs it?

The ICSI procedure is a refinement of IVF that allows for the direct injection of a single sperm into an egg, overcoming many obstacles of fertilization. Unlike standard insemination where thousands of sperm are placed near an egg in a petri dish, ICSI requires only one sperm per egg, thus bypassing the need for sperm to penetrate the egg on their own. This is particularly advantageous for situations where sperm count is too low or sperm motility is impaired, making natural fertilization challenging.

ICSI enhances fertilization rates and is an invaluable option for couples where male infertility is a concern, or in cases where fertilization attempts via conventional IVF have been unsuccessful.

How Does ICSI Compare to standard Insemination?

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a specialized technique used in conjunction with IVF to tackle certain infertility issues. During ICSI, a single sperm is meticulously injected directly into an egg to facilitate fertilization. It's also used when previous IVF attempts have resulted in poor fertilization rates or for couples with unexplained infertility.

By directly inserting the sperm into the egg, ICSI can dramatically increase the chances of fertilization, offering a viable path to parenthood for many who might otherwise face significant challenges in conceiving.

Breaking Down the ICSI Procedure

All methods of fertilization, including ICSI, take place in a special laboratory where all conditions are sterile. The temperature and air quality in the laboratory are carefully controlled. The basic steps of the ICSI procedure are as follows:

  1. Egg Retrieval: Just like in standard IVF, eggs are retrieved from the ovaries using a fine needle guided by ultrasound.
  2. Sperm Collection: Sperm is obtained either through ejaculation or, in cases where this isn’t possible, directly from the testicles via surgical extraction.
  3. Selection of Sperm: A single healthy sperm is selected by the embryologist under a microscope for its shape and motility.
  4. Injection of Sperm: The chosen sperm is carefully injected into the inner part of the egg (cytoplasm) using a fine glass needle.
  5. Confirmation of Fertilization: After injection, the eggs are monitored to confirm that normal fertilization has occurred and that the embryos are developing.
  6. Embryo Transfer: One or more embryos are then transferred into the uterus with the hope that they will implant and lead to a successful pregnancy.

ICSI bypasses the natural fertilization process where sperm must penetrate the egg on their own, which can be a significant barrier for many couples with certain types of infertility. Even with ICSI, sometimes fertilization does not occur or occurs abnormally. This usually happens when there are very few eggs available to inject with sperm or when the eggs are of poor quality. Ordinarily, using ICSI, about 70% of the mature, healthy eggs should fertilize normally.

At IVF1, patients are contacted the day after their retrieval to let them know how many of the eggs fertilized normally.

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Patient Testimonials

I’m so grateful to have been referred to Dr. Morris and his team! I’ve spent the last month or so working with the team and they’ve made what is naturally a hard process both mentally and physically as comforting and easy as possible. Dr. Morris’s success rates speak for themselves, but what I want to let everyone know is that he is equally comforting. A special thank you to Jocelyne, Pam and Barbie, these three women on his staff from front desks to RNs really have made the experience an extremely positive one. PS. My cousin who referred me to Dr. Morris has a smart, healthy and beautiful baby boy who he helped bring into this world!

Alex Villa

The staff is amazing here. I’m in the middle of IVF and had an issue with a medication and they went above and beyond to make sure everything was done to continue our journey (on the weekend no less); truly above and beyond. The staff are very caring and professional. Definitely recommend Dr. Morris and this amazing practice.

Megan Buetikofer

Thanks to Dr.Morris I am holding today my little dream girl. I don't have enough words to express how thankful I am to him and everyone working in IVF1 Naperville. Highly recomend Dr.Morris and his clinic to everyone looking for real professional help and attitude!

Petya Vasilev

He is a very professional and good doctor. the whole clinic is very nice. all the staff are amazing. The doctor operated on me for endometriosis and I got pregnant during the second IVF. we have a wonderful 1 year old son. thank you doctor we still have an embryo, I think I will definitely come back to you in a year or two.

Ziva Ru

I don't even know where to start...THANK YOU! Thank you for giving us our son. We went through a year of IVF. Although there may have been things I didn't want to hear (chances of pregnancy, factors out of our control, etc.) it was important to hear the truth and know what our chances were. The staff was always great with us and they were very patient. They really have everything figured out and what the best options out for outcomes. I never felt pressured to make certain decisions and always felt well informed. Again, I can't thank Dr. Morris and all his staff for everything!!!

Lauren Throm

I honestly can’t praise this company enough. Dr. Randy Morris bedside manner is absolutely amazing, his staff professionalism and customer service is also amazing. Your experience with this company will be nothing but perfect. From the initial call to the receptionist. To speaking with the nursing staff, billing, etc. everyone wants to help you with family planning. No matter what my outcome is, I know I’m with a co that will make sure I have the best chances. Thank you to Dr Randy Morris and Staff a bunch!

Misty Johnson

Dr. Morris is by far the best fertility doctor! When I transferred to IVF1 from my previous fertility doctor, he read all my medical records in depth. Never once did I feel stressed or unsure of what was happening. The entire staff there is so nice and make you feel so comfortable. It was so easy to schedule appointments, get medications, or ask a nurse a question. My calls were always returned within 20 minutes. I highly recommend IVF1! Dr. Morris made it possible for us to get pregnant!


Amazing staff. They made us feel like family. They cried when I called to tell them the birth of our daughter. Starting round two next month. Simply the best. They care!

BT Warner

Dr. Morris and staff were very friendly. Dr. Morris was very informative and patient with answering all questions I had. We were uncertain on the options and next steps to take and Dr. Morris explained all the details and options we have. Excellent staff and a great doc.

Jenita Crawford
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