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What does ICSI fertility treatment involve, and how much does it cost in the UK?

The fertility treatment ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) is where a singe sperm is injected directly into an egg under a microscope. The technique is used when the man either has a low sperm count, a high proportion of abnormal sperm, or his sperm lacks the mobility to reach the egg.

The ICSI treatment is also used in cases when the sperm has to be medically obtained or where there is a problem with anti-sperm antibodies in the semen.

The technique has become the most successful method of addressing male infertility, with ICSI now used in almost half of all IVF treatments. Sperm often just needs a helping hand to penetrate the outer layer of the egg, and that's exactly what ICSI does. More information about ICSI and IVF.

ICSI treatment takes five to six weeks to complete, and both partners be required to spend a full day at the clinic for the egg and sperm retrieval stage of the procedure. The embryo implantation stage takes place two days later. More details about the treatment process.

Each egg treated with ICSI has a 65% chance of becoming fertilised. The overall success rates of the treatment (i.e. the number of couples who have a successful pregnancy) is approximately 30%. But as more and more clinics in the UK become familiar with the treatment, this figure is expected to gradually rise over the coming years. More information about ICSI success rates.

The costs of ICSI treatment in the UK can very quite considerably from clinic to clinic. On average, expect to pay in the region of £3000 for treatment at a private clinic in the UK. However, it's important to establish exactly what a price includes. Many clinics quote a price that includes everything except the required medication. But as ICSI medication can cost up to £1000, this is a very significant issue. More details about intracytoplasmic sperm injection costs.

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