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Before a sperm can fertilize an egg, the head of the sperm needs to attach to the outside of the egg. Then it pushes through the outer layer of the egg to the inside of its cytoplasm. Sometimes the sperm cannot penetrate the outer layer. In such case, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is performed by injecting sperm directly into the center of the egg. The fertilized egg grows in a laboratory for one to five days; then it is transferred to the woman's uterus.

ICSI is used to overcome a man's fertility problems (inadequate sperm number or poor quality). It is also used for older couples or for those with failed IVF attempts.  ICSI results in success rates are similar to those of IVF. IVF with ICSI requires only one healthy sperm to fertilize ova.


  •  ICSI procedure may cause egg damage
  • The egg might not grow into an embryo

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