Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

If your infertility is related to low sperm numbers or low sperm motility or because of other barriers to the fertilisation process such as sperm antibodies or previous failure to fertilise through IVF, your Fertility Specialist might recommend intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) as a treatment.

During ICSI, the sperm doesn’t have to travel to the egg or successfully penetrate the layers of cumulus cells or outer layers of the egg. Instead, our scientists use sperm microinjection to inject a single sperm directly into the cytoplasm of the egg. The sperm is selected mainly on the basis of its normal shape and size.

ICSI might be the best option for you if:

  • your partner has a very low or zero sperm count;
  • your partner has a high percentage of abnormally shaped sperm;
  • your partner has sperm that can't be ejaculated but can be collected from the testicles or from the epididymis (if your partner has had an irreversible vasectomy or injury);
  • your partner has trouble getting an erection and ejaculating (for example due to spinal cord injuries or diabetes); or
  • earlier IVF attempts have failed due to eggs failing to be fertilised.

Once the egg has been successfully fertilised, the resulting embryo is left to develop in the lab over the next five to six days before being transferred back to your womb.


The #1 piece of advice our patients pass on to people trying to conceive is to ask for help earlier. Genea's Fertility Specialists are experts in helping people conceive and seeing one is not a fast track to IVF - in fact we help more than 50% our patients have a baby with fertility treatments other than IVF.