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What is the difference between Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) and In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)?

icsi and ivf

With the advancement in medical science, infertility is no longer a problem. When you decide to have fertility treatment, you can find different treatment options. Choosing between the various treatment options is not an easy decision. Considering the different aspects of the different treatments can help in selecting the right treatment option.

You can easily find an ICSI center in Delhi or the best IVF centre in Delhi. But before you take the big decision of choosing between the ICSI and IVF treatment, doing some deep research is important. To start understanding the difference, you need to know what both the treatment are.


Both Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) and In Vitro Fertilization are the most common types of fertility treatments. ICSI and IVF help treat your fertility issues and provide you an opportunity to experience parenthood.

In Vitro, Fertilization is an assisted reproduction treatment that helps in treating the fertility problems and structural obstacles that comes in the way of pregnancy. On the other hand, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is a more targeted method than IVF that helps in treating men with fertility problems.

The Difference

While IVF was developed earlier in the 1980s to help couples with infertility problems experience parenthood, ICSI is a recent development of the 1990s. As IVF was found not to be effective for treating male infertility with poor sperm, ICSI was developed to treat the male factor infertility.

You can find the key difference between the two fertility treatment options of ICSI and IVF in the method of fertilization. The method in which the sperm fertilizes the egg creates a big difference between ICSI and IVF. In the case of IVF, thousands of sperm are added to a single egg with the hope that one of the sperm will successfully fertilize the egg. The sperm and egg are stored in a petri dish and allowed to fertilize on their own. But in the case of ICSI, with the help of a microscope and technically advanced equipment, the embryologist selects only one healthy sperm. Then the healthy sperm cell is directly injected into the egg and is allowed to fertilize.

The second difference is the suitability of the fertility treatment. If you visit an ICSI clinic in Delhi, the doctor may suggest ICSI for sperm-related infertility. In case the male partner has a low sperm count or abnormal sperm shape, ICSI is usually suggested for successful treatment. But if you are having other fertility issues that are related to age or other conditions, you can undergo IVF treatment successfully at the top IVF Centre in India.

Both treatments are expensive. When it comes to cost per started cycle, the ICSI cost is more as compared to the IVF treatment. But in the case of ongoing pregnancy, the IVF cost is higher than the ICSI treatment.

Considering your situation and the pros and cons of each of the treatment options, you can select the appropriate fertility treatment. The fertility treatments can bless you with a child that you have been longing for for since long. Content Source:

Fragile Egg Syndrome and ICSI

ICSI or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is an advanced reproductive technique used for couples with severe male factor infertility. It involves the injection of a single, healthy sperm directly into the female egg. The fertilized embryo is then transferred directly into the woman’s uterus. The remaining steps of ICSI are similar to a typical IVF treatment cycle.

The success of the ICSI treatment depends upon a number of factors including the sperm quality, egg quality, and the skill of the embryologist. One of the key reasons for the failure of ICSI is fragile egg syndrome. As the name suggests, fragile egg syndrome refers to the weakness of the egg. The egg is fragile to the extent that it is unable to withstand the procedure. The chances of ICSI failure are high as the egg is most likely to be damaged or destroyed during it.

ICSI with Fragile Eggs

ICSI involves the puncturing of the cell membrane of the egg with a sharp, hollow needle. The elastic membrane is to be broken before introducing the sperm inside the cell’s cytoplasm. The procedure is to be done with great care and efficiency. The skill of the embryologist plays a considerable role in this regard. Even a minor error can cause the egg to be damaged and the resultant failure of the cycle.

The resilience of the egg membrane is important for the egg to be of a good quality. During ICSI, it is essential to break the membrane for the egg to be fertilized by the sperm. But fragile membrane can be responsible for death of the egg after ICSI. An egg with a very soft membrane is unable to withstand the pressure of the needle, however gently the embryologist applies it.

The biggest problem is that the egg might appear normal superficially but its fragility becomes evident only after ICSI is done. It may not die instantly but sometime after the procedure, when damage is already done. The patient may have invested a great deal on the cycle which would go futile. In many cases, this happens because the embryologist lacks the expertise to handle the egg and damages it while injecting the sperm. This means that the risk is high even if the egg is not fragile.

Research has been conducted to identify the risk factors of egg fragility. Women who are over 40 years old and have low AMH levels are prone to producing fewer eggs, most of them fragile. Eggs coming from follicles of smaller size (less than 10 mm) are usually fragile. Weak eggs translate to repeated failure of ICSI treatment cycles. Therefore, the problem is to be addressed as a part of the infertility treatment plan.

Handling Fragile Eggs

Once a woman is diagnosed with fragile egg syndrome, the infertility specialist handles her case in a different manner. Various options are available to carry out her treatment in an effective manner. She may be suggested to take up IVF treatment instead of ICSI as the former does not require mechanical manipulation of the egg. The risk of egg degeneration in IVF treatment is practically zero, as the sperm fertilizes the egg naturally. On the other hand, conventional IVF is not suitable for couples with very poor-quality sperms. ICSI is the only option for such couples and the specialist has to think of some other alternative for them.

Egg fragility can be tackled by subjecting them to in vitro incubation before carrying out sperm injection. Once the eggs are retrieved, these have to be incubated for a few hours to make them stronger. The incubated eggs are cytoplasmically mature and the risk of damage during ICSI is minimized.

The ICSI technique may be slightly modified if egg fragility is suspected. Instead of injecting sperms into all the eggs together, the embryologist can first do it on a single egg. The egg should be carefully observed to check if anything goes wrong after the ICSI. In this way, the embryologist can handle the other eggs with precaution, instead of losing them all in one shot. Another measure that can be followed is not to aspirate the cytoplasm from a fragile egg before injecting the sperm into it. This, however, is extremely tricky because the sperm might be unable to penetrate the egg without aspiration of cytoplasm.

Handling fragile eggs can be the biggest challenge for an embryologist. But it is his skill, expertise, and patience that can make the ICSI treatment a success despite this grave issue. The patients should, therefore, rely only on the best IVF clinic to carry out infertility treatment for them. Read latest post:


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