Difference Between IVF and ICSI

The physical conditions are different for each individual. Some women can get pregnant naturally while it becomes a huge milestone for some other women.


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There might be many reasons a woman faces trouble getting pregnant. IVF and ICSI are two methods that have been designed to help such women with external medical equipment.


The difference between IVF and ICSI is that in the IVF procedure sperms are expected to penetrate the exterior layer of the egg on their own. While in the ICSI procedure, a tiny needle is required to transfer the sperm in the cytoplasm of the egg.

ICSI is one of the two-part of IVF.


IVF is known as a medical procedure that fertilizes eggs with required equipment without needing a womb or in other words, outside a woman’s body. When the egg is developed or fertilized, it is then deployed inside of the woman’s womb.

This procedure has been proved very advantageous for a woman who is somehow physically unable to get pregnant. ICSI is widely known as an Intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

In other words, it is an injection that is used in the ‘in Vitro procedure to inject the sperms into the eggs. By the ICSI, the single cell of the sperm can be injected into the egg’s cytoplasm.

Hence, it becomes a very essential part of In vitro fertilization procedure.

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonIVFICSI
Full formThe Full form of IVF In vitro fertilization. In vitro refers to the Latin term meaning ‘in glass’. The Full form of ICSI is Intracytoplasmic injection. It is one of the methods used in ‘in Vitro.
ProcedureIn the IVF method, sperms are required to penetrate the egg all by themselves outside of the body. In the ICSI method, sperms are injected into the cytoplasm of the egg with help of a tiny needle.
Number of spermThe number of sperm needed in IVF procedures for positive results is almost 50 thousand. The number of sperm needed in the ICSI procedure for positive results is quite less.
Required forThe experts state the IVF method is developed to treat both man and woman infertility. The ICSI method is developed to treat male infertility by sending the sperms with external apparatus.
CostThe in vitro fertilization procedure can be expensive for parents to afford. The Intracytoplasmic injection method to fertilize an egg is known as one of the most expensive methods to afford.

What is IVF?

The expanded form of IVF is In vitro fertilization. In Vitro is a Latin term that means ‘in glass’ which also means any production of tissues that are outside of the living beings.

It is considered to be a type of ART (assisted reproductive technology). IVF facilitates sperms to fertilize the egg with various surgical procedures and medications.

It has provided relief to millions of women across the globe who are not physically fit to give birth to a child. The first successful experiment on this concept was brought up by Steptoe and Edwards.

In this procedure, the sperm of a male and the egg of a woman commingled in vitro. In the initial stage, a doctor monitors the ovulatory, and then the ovum also known as ova is derived from the ovary.

Latter sperms are added to these ova in the laboratory. After being fertilized, they are kept under the procedure known as embryo culture.

These fertilized eggs are known as embryos that are then get transferred to the woman’s uterus so they can be implanted in the lining of the uterine. Lesley Brown was the first woman to give birth to a child conceived by IVF procedure.

Loise Brown is the first child who was born with the help of IVF.

What is ICSI?

Sometimes the outer layer of the egg to be fertilized can be thicker for sperm to penetrate. That’s when an Intracytoplasmic injection that is ICSI comes in handy.

Naturally, to fertilize the egg, a sperm reaches it and attaches its head to the exterior layer of the egg. But there are several cases when the egg is covered in the thicker layer that can not be penetrated by the sperms that easily.

In this situation, the egg remains infertile which means that the woman can not get pregnant. To resolve this situation ICSI procedure is done with IVF.

IVF provides two ways in which the egg is fertilized. The first is traditional while the second is ICSI.

To perform traditional IVF, almost 50 thousand sperms are placed near the egg that can swim in a laboratory dish. Then the fertilization is considered to be done when one of the sperm gets inside of the egg.

On the other hand, a tiny needle also known as a micropipette is used by doctors. They inject only one sperm at a time into the egg.

After this procedure is done, these eggs are designated as embryos. These embryos are kept in the laboratory for 1 to 5 days and then attached to the lining of the uterine.

Main Differences Between IVF and ICSI

  1. When some other fertility treatments show negative results, then the IVF procedure is used while the ICSI procedure always gives better results.
  2. The IVF procedure requires a large number of sperm. On the other hand, the ICSI procedure does not require tons of sperms.
  3. The IVF procedure requires sperms to go into the egg by themselves while the ICSI procedure assists sperms to swim their way in.
  4. The IVF procedure is commonly used to cure both man’s and woman’s infertility while the ICSI procedure is generally used for man’s infertility.
  5. In the IVF procedure, a piece of equipment is known as a petri dish to keep eggs and sperms while in the ICSI procedure sperms are directly injected into the egg.
Difference Between IVF and ICSI


  1. https://academic.oup.com/humupd/article-abstract/12/6/685/624882
  2. https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article-abstract/17/3/671/642285
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