What Are the Major Differences Between IVF and ICSI?

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What Are the Major Differences Between IVF and ICSI?

Whenever we discuss the various methods used to treat infertility, we come to know terms such as IVF, ICSI, and IUI.

However, we are not able to completely understand whether they are separate processes or part of one particular process.

Most people believe that all of these are part of the overall in-vitro fertilization option, but not completely.

Some of them have a belief that one is a substitute for the other. The interchangeable use of the terms IVF and ICSI is not right.  

What are IVF and ICSI?

Although both of the above are methods of fertilizing eggs outside the body in a laboratory yet, they are not different processes.

In certain situations, Intracytoplasmic sperm injection can be an alternative to in vitro fertilization.

On the other hand, ICSI is a special type of IVF, which is primarily used to cure severe cases of male infertility. In this process, sperm is directly injected into the mature egg.

You can see during IUI treatment, male cells are placed directly inside the embryo with the hope that some of them with good motility and morphology will enter the mature ovum.

Also Read: ICSI “Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection” & Its Candidates

Difference between IVF and ICSI

The basic difference between only IVF or by associating it with ICSI is the way in which sperm fertilizes the egg.

Previously, a petri dish was used in which eggs and sperms were brought together and left alone to follow the natural growth.

Some sperm will enter the eggs and fertilize them. Under the intracytoplasmic sperm injection method, only selected sperms are injected directly into the egg.

Because it is a manual procedure, it eliminates risks like fertilization by multiple sperm or male gametes failing to enter egg cells.

In some cases, embryologists achieve better results by including ICSI in the IVF cycle.

When do embryologists use IVF-ICSI?

IVF-ICSI is used when one or more of the following conditions occur:

  • Use of frozen sperm.
  • Using frozen eggs.
  • Previous fertilization failure.
  • High sperm DNA fragmentation.
  • Fertilized embryos not found in the previous cycle
  • Poor sperm motility, count, or shape.
  • Due to the poor quality of embryos in others.
  • Unknown fertility.


After the woman is given fertility drugs, enough high-quality eggs are collected from the uterus or fallopian tubes by the doctors. It is called egg retrieval.

They are then transferred to a culture medium and placed in an incubator that regulates temperature, humidity, and other environmental parameters.

When the eggs get matured, the doctor collects semen samples from the male partner – this is called sperm retrieval.

Now, the embryologist has to match the mature egg with the selected healthy sperm that has been chosen from the semen sample.

At this stage, if the sperm morphology is not acceptable then the ICSI technique is adopted to directly inject the sperm into the egg and increase the chances of fertilization.

After sixteen to eighteen hours the Results are examined. The fertilized egg or embryo is then implanted in the uterus – this is called implantation.

ICSI is a relatively new technology, as it has been used since 1992.

According to Dr. Shivani Bhutani an IVF specialist at Eva Hospital, Ludhiana, “embryologists with the help of ICSI, are able to select the best sperm from the given sample to inject into the egg.

Are babies born with ICSI normal?

Of course yes, infants born using assisted reproductive technology (ART) are fully normal as naturally born babies. Studies have not shown any evidence which indicates behavioral or physical abnormalities.

Researchers even examined the birth weight, growth, IQ, development, and behavior issues and found it to be normal compared to babies who were naturally pregnant.

IVF-ICSI at Eva Hospital

Our hospital is rated as one of the best IVF hospitals in Ludhiana. We provide state-of-the-art facilities to treat infertility issues such as IUI, IVF-ICSI, Male Infertility, PCOS, and Gynecological Services.

It is well known for its high birth rate, over 78 percent successful cases, and cost-efficient treatment.

We know how important it is to give birth to a couple struggling with unsuccessful treatment.

We make sure that costs are kept to a minimum by choosing only those procedures that are necessary.

With the elimination of unwanted procedures, the treatment does not put a financial burden on aspiring Parents.

ICSI treatment at Eva Hospital is very affordable and therefore people of all income groups consult our experts about their eligibility for various technical treatments, contact our consultants and get immediate help.

About The Author

Dr Shivani Bhutani
A doctor with a rich background and high success rate, Dr. Shivani Bhutani offers the boon of parenthood to couples dealing with infertility. She has opulent knowledge and expertise in offering successful treatment for infertility in females, gynecological disorders, and family planning consultation services. Highly dedicated, concerned, and attentive, Dr. Shivani understands the bliss of parenthood and offers appropriate medical help.