Assited Reproduction Techniques: FIV vs ICSI

Assited Reproduction Techniques: FIV vs ICSI

Currently there are two main techniques used to achieve Assisted Reproduction IVF. These two techniques are conventional in vitro fertilization (IVF), and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

In IVF, the previously capacitated male sperm are deposited together with the oocytes of women in fertilization medium in order to achieve fertilization as similar as possible to that which occurs naturally. In ICSI, sperm are also capacitated but in this case are entered through a micromanipulation system in mature eggs. Both techniques are applied depending on many factors both male and female. It is important to mention that, due to the intra-individual variability in semen quality, the same day of the completion of treatment embryologists and gynaecologists must decide whether to perform one technique or the other and inform the couple, always with the aim of achieving optimal fertilization.

Indications for IVF

IVF is used in several situations:

  • Repeated failure of timed intercourse and / or artificial insemination.
  • Infertility of unknown origin.
  • Various factors like female tubal obstruction and endometriosis.

This is as long as the semen quality of the sample on the day of egg collection is according to the World Health Organization criteria (2010).

Indications for ICSI


Usually used when there are severe or moderate changes in semen quality. Can also be used after previous failure of conventional IVF cycle and when there is poor egg quality.Sometimes you can use both techniques, thus obtaining a mixed treatment. This way you can get more information on infertility of unknown origin in order to use the most suitable technique in future treatments. This mixed treatment can be used when semen shows slight alterations.

At Instituto Bernabeu there is now a similar fertilization rate between the two techniques (IVF and ICSI) around 70%.


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