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Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a technique utilized to overcome severe male infertility caused by sperm abnormalities that make it more difficult to penetrate and fertilize the egg naturally. These abnormalities include very low sperm count (oligospermia), poor sperm motility (asthenozoospermia), and abnormally shaped sperm (teratozoospermia).
With ICSI, a single high-quality sperm is injected directly into an egg resulting in a rate of fertilization of around 90%.
Once eggs are retrieved during a regular IVF cycle, the embryologist places the eggs in a special culture. The chosen sperm cells are individually picked up in a tiny needle and then injected into each egg so that several embryos can be available for transfer and storage. If fertilization takes place, and the embryos are healthy, one or two embryos are transferred to the uterus two to five days after egg collection and the rest are frozen for future use.