The Difference between IVF and ICSI

The first successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) baby was a product of combining a single egg with a drop of processed seminal fluid.

IVF Method

The sperm which fertilizes the egg is naturally selected similarly to what occurs normally in the fallopian tube, this is the concept of conventional IVF.

The conventional IVF method is still used today and is very suitable in cases when the seminal fluid analysis is in the normal ranges and there is an adequate number of oocytes.

However, in the cases when the seminal fluid analysis is abnormal fertilization may not occur using the conventional IVF method.

ICSI Method

In the mid-90s, intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) was introduced to the world of assisted reproduction.

ICSI is the process where a single motile sperm is selected and injected into the oocyte using microscopic vision resulting in better fertilization and pregnancy rates in men with suboptimal semen.

ICSI is considered the largest breakthrough in assisted reproduction, revolutionizing the treatment for male infertility.


Research shows that the pregnancy rate with conventional IVF is slightly higher than pregnancy rates with ICSI, however on the other hand there is a higher risk of no fertilization with conventional IVF. Furthermore, the use of ICSI is always required in PGD.


An additional method used recently is intra-cytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI) which is the selection of the best morphologically normal sperm under maximum magnification.

Using IMSI increases the chances of producing a normal healthy embryo which might improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy.

For that reason, there has always been a balance between applying similar methods to natural conception and getting involved in more sophisticated medical micro interventions.

However, there is not a specific procedure which suits all cases. Thus, the importance of individualizing the treatment and management for each and every case.


What is the difference between IVF and ICSI?

IVF, sperms and eggs are combined together, for natural fertilization.

ICSI, doctors inject the sperm into the oocytes.

How do I choose between IVF and ICSI?

Why does IVF/ICSI fail?

Varies number of reasons could affect, nevertheless, one of the most common reasons for failure is due to the quality of the embryo, some embryos are unable to implant after transfer to the uterus as they are defective.

Which is more successful IVF or ICSI?

Research shows that IVF is as successful as ICSI, the chosen method depends on the quality of sperms and oocytes.

Will ICSI babies be normal?

Several studies have looked into this issue and it all proved that children are very similar to normal pregnancy born.

What is the cost of ICSI?

Cost varies from case to case, please.

Can I choose the gender with ICSI?

Yes, we can conduct the PGD test, where we can segregate the desired gender before transferring the embryos.