IVF or ICSI for fertility preservation?

Bhorika Aggarwal, Amanda L. Evans, Howard Ryan, Sarah J. Martins Da Silva (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)


In IVF, eggs and sperm are added together for fertilisation to occur whereas ICSI involves injecting a single sperm into each egg. ICSI is very effective where sperm count or swimming is poor (male infertility) but is slightly riskier than IVF in terms of health problems in children, although these risks are small. However, the risk of no eggs fertilising is higher for IVF compared to ICSI and couples undertaking fertility preservation, for example, before cancer treatment, usually only have time for one attempt. Using fertility preservation treatment cycle data reported to Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), this study shows that ICSI results in higher number of fertilised eggs and embryos for storage or treatment compared to IVF. However, 19% of eggs are not used in ICSI treatment, so IVF appears to be better overall. Clinics should choose IVF or ICSI for fertility preservation depending on sperm characteristics rather than using ICSI for all.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L1-L3
Number of pages3
JournalReproduction and Fertility
Issue number1
Early online date5 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Embryology
  • Reproductive Medicine


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