Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is an in vitro fertilization procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg. icsiThis procedure is most commonly used to overcome male infertility problems, although it may also be used where eggs cannot easily be penetrated by sperm, and occasionally as a method of in vitro fertilization, especially that associated with sperm donation. Couples go through the same preparatory processes as with IVF, namely ovulation induction and egg collection.
Under high-power magnification, a glass tool (holding pipette) is used to hold an egg in place. A microscopic glass tube containing sperm (injection pipette) is used to penetrate and deposit one sperm into the egg. After culturing in the laboratory overnight, eggs are checked for evidence of fertilization. After incubation, the eggs that have been successfully fertilized (zygotes) or have had 3 to 5 days to further develop (zygotes or blastocysts) are selected. Two to three are placed in the uterus using a thin flexible tube (catheter) that is inserted through the cervix. The remaining embryos may be frozen (cryopreserved) for future attempts.