IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

How it works

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a technique used in the process of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Through ICSI, a single sperm is injected directly into the egg. The sperm therefore bypasses several steps in the early fertilization process.

In our on-site fertility lab, we are able to separate and look at individual sperm from a semen sample.  An expert in ICSI selects a sperm cell. Selection is based on its motility (ability to move), normal head shape and overall appearance. The single sperm cell is then placed into a tiny, hair-thin glass needle. This special needle is gently inserted into an egg. The sperm is placed into the egg to fertilize it. The timing of what occurs next, including embryo development, corresponds to what happens during a typical IVF procedure.

OHSU helped to pioneer ICSI in the Northwest

OHSU has been performing this technique since 1994. ICSI has been tested worldwide and experience shows that ICSI is extremely successful in achieving fertilization, the establishment of a pregnancy and the birth of a healthy baby.

ICSI has proven successful in different circumstances

It has worked even when there are low sperm counts and motility, or sperm recovered from testicular tissue or epididymal aspiration. Ask your doctor if ICSI would be a good option for you.

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