For people experiencing infertility, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) may lead to a successful pregnancy. This type of in vitro fertilization (IVF) is most helpful when there are male infertility issues. Your healthcare provider injects sperm into an egg to aid conception. Pregnancy may happen after an embryo transfer.
Intracytoplasmic (IN-truh-sahy-tuh-PLAZ-mik) refers to the fact that the sperm injection takes place inside an egg’s cytoplasm. This is the gel-like substance in the center of an egg, made up of water, salt and other molecules.
ICSI is a type of IVF. With traditional IVF, your healthcare provider places thousands of sperm next to an egg on a laboratory dish. Whether one of the sperm penetrates the egg to fertilize it is left up to chance. If none of the sperm fertilize the egg, conception (also called fertilization) doesn’t occur. ICSI promotes fertilization through the direct injection of a single sperm into a single egg. Still, ICSI doesn’t guarantee fertilization. In both ICSI and traditional IVF, your healthcare provider implants the fertilized egg (embryo) into your uterus. Pregnancy occurs if the embryo attaches to the lining of your uterus.