Treatments & Options - ICSI - Success Rates

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) often boosts in vitro fertilization (IVF) success rates for couples dealing with male infertility. ICSI offers many couples the chance to have their own children when it would be impossible by other means. In this section, we share the latest on intracytoplasmic sperm injection success rates.

ICSI and IVF success
Here are the 2011 live birth IVF success rates from couples diagnosed with male factor infertility (statistics are based on the mother’s age). Remember, most of these couples (88 percent) chose ICSI along with IVF. These success rates are based on live birth rates per fresh embryo transfer.

  • 35 and younger: 48.3 percent gave birth 
  • 35 to 37: 42 percent
  • 38 to 40: 29.8 percent
  • 41 to 42: 20.4 percent
  • 42 and older: 7 percent

Fresh or frozen sperm?
There appears to be no difference in pregnancy rates between those who use fresh or frozen sperm during the ICSI process. Fertilization rates with ICSI range from 50 to 80 percent. However, not all fertilized eggs develop into healthy embryos. Unfortunately, some eggs and embryos do become damaged during the ICSI process. 

Risks of ICSI
You may wonder if ICSI is associated with an increase in birth defects. Studies show that ICSI and IVF lead to a similar percentage of birth defects as babies conceived naturally. However, the ICSI risk of having a baby with abnormalities is very minimal (less than 1 percent). Some people speculate that the ICSI process might lead to higher rates of genetic defects compared to other fertility treatments. But, the birth defects most commonly associated with ICSI can usually be fixed with surgery.

Since ICSI takes place as part of the IVF process, there is an increased chance of becoming pregnant with multiples for couples that try ICSI. Couples that use ICSI with IVF have about a 30 to 35 percent chance for twins and a 5 to 10 percent chance for having triplets or more.

Yes, there are some risks to ICSI, but the success rates with ICSI are pretty strong. If your partner has male factor infertility or if you have had previous failed IVF cycles, your doctor may recommend ICSI with IVF to help you get pregnant.