Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a micromanipulation procedure that injects a single sperm into a mature egg. This sophisticated technique provides assistance to men with low concentrations of sperm (less than 6 million motile sperm), sperm that cannot reach the egg successfully, or a high number of abnormal sperm. It has also proven successful in cases of absence of sperm (azoospermia) in the ejaculate or from a previous vasectomy.
During the procedure, a single normally shaped, mobile sperm is captured by an embryologist using microscopic instruments and drawn into a glass needle. The sperm is then directly injected into the egg. This technique, combined with IVF, has proven to be a highly effective solution when andrology tests have identified a problem with sperm function. ICSI has also recently been applied to cryopreserved oocytes (frozen eggs), consequently boosting the IVF live birth success rates.