Increasing the Chances of Pregnancy with ICSI

172726682-s.jpgLaurence A. Jacobs, M.D. provides intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)as an important step during in vitro fertilization (IVF). ICSI is a highly specialized procedure in which Dr. Jacobs' embryologist inserts a single sperm into each mature egg to improve chances of normal fertilization. This treatment is exceptionally precise, and it has helped many of our patients who were unsuccessful with other fertility treatments, or who have had a vasectomy. To learn more about ICSI, contact our Chicago area office today and schedule an appointment.


Male factor infertility can be caused by several factors, including low semen output, limited sperm mobility (motility), low sperm counts, or a high percentage of abnormal spermatozoa. Couples struggling with these issues are excellent candidates for ICSI during IVF.

Other good candidates for ICSI include those with immunologic infertility and those whose cause of infertility remains unknown. Sometimes Dr. Jacobs uses ICSI in cases of a woman having inadequate ovarian reserves, either because of a low number or inadequate quality of eggs.

In males with congenital absence of the vas deferens, or a vas deferens that has become blocked because of vasectomy or other reasons, ICSI can be an effective option. Patients suffering with these complications will need to undergo an additional treatment to retrieve the sperm, as they will be unable to produce a sample themselves.


In basic IVF, many sperm cells share a space in a Petri dish with a single egg, in hopes that one sperm will enter and fertilize it. ICSI differs because it involves the direct injection of a sperm cell into an egg, using very precise instruments and extreme magnification.

ICSI is very similar to basic IVF, but involves a few additional procedures to increase chances for fertilization. Eggs and sperm are harvested and brought together in our embryology lab. During ICSI, the eggs will first receive an enzyme bath that breaks the cell covering, thus allowing for the sperm injection. The contributing male must provide his sample on the day of egg collection, unless arrangements have been made to use donor sperm or previously frozen sperm. Each egg will be fertilized with a single sperm. This differs from basic IVF, in which several sperm are placed in a Petri dish near an egg in the hopes that one will fertilize it.

After Dr. Jacobs' embryologist confirms embryonic development, one or more are transferred into the uterus. Embryonic and fetal development continues as it would during natural pregnancy after ICSI. Pregnancy success rates are similar to or better than those of IVF.  For this reason, Dr. Jacobs will generally recommend IVF with ICSI for the majority of his infertile couples.


ICSI is more costly than traditional basic in vitro fertilization. It is a great option for patients who have tried other fertility treatments and had no success. Dr. Jacobs is happy to explain each of your options in great detail, and help you select the best one to meet your needs.


Our team is happy to answer any questions you may have about ICSI and any other treatments we provide. Contact us to schedule an appointment and begin your journey toward growing your family today.