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What is Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection?

March 15, 2024

IVF is one of the most popular conception treatment options. In the field of IVF, there are many advanced techniques that have contributed to its success. One such technique is Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection, IMSI. This is an advanced method of sperm selection where a magnification microscope is used. It is an ICSI variation, which is a useful sperm selection for the fertilization process. Read below to learn more about IMSI.

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What is Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection?

IMSI is an advanced method in IVF therapy. It is a procedure that involves the selection and examination of the sperm before it is injected into an egg using a microscope with digital imaging and high magnification. The sperm is selected before the microinjection using IMSI, as that allows for a procedure that is more timely. It is done using an inverted microscope with a magnification power that is many times greater than a typical laboratory microscope, which is used in ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection). It is researched that there are greater chances of success when a better-shaped sperm is picked. IMSI is a great option if you have been unsuccessful in trying to conceive in the past.

What is the Difference between IMSI and ICSI?

IMSI is a technique that allows biologists to check the structure and shape of the sperm that have the highest rate of successful fertilization. It helps to eliminate sperm that may have abnormalities. It is an ideal procedure for those who have had failed ICSI attempts. IMSI is an advanced procedure that is done using a high-magnification microscope of more than *6000 magnification. It is recommended for those who have severe male infertility.

ICSI is a procedure that is done when IVF fails. The microscope used is at *400 magnification and is used to understand the shape and other morphological characteristics of sperm. It excludes sperm with abnormalities and is ideal for those with severe infertility.

What is the procedure for IMSI?

The same rules that apply to ICSI are applied to IMSI cycles. The sperm pallets are kept in a solution in a laboratory, and using a microscope, the sperm are picked. A microinjector is used for the fertilization of eggs after the best sperm is selected by the embryologist. Here are the steps involved in the IMSI procedure:

  • Before the selection process, the female partner is given fertility drugs to stimulate egg production in the ovaries.
  • It starts with sperm selection which is done under a microscope with a high-magnification power that is more powerful than an ICSI microscope.
  • The sperm morphology is examined and determined using this sophisticated and advanced microscope and those with abnormalities are discarded.
  • Through the Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection, ICSI the eggs are injected with the selected sperm. If the injection is successful, the eggs get fertilised and embryos are formed.

When is IMSI needed?

One of the main reasons IMSI is needed is because of severe male infertility. For instance, it is used when the sperm count in a man is low, the sperm internal morphology is abnormal, the sperm are sluggish, and the male cannot reproduce or has low-quality sperm. IMSI is particularly useful when it is seen that sperm morphology has changed (a condition called teratozoospermia). Plus, it is also useful in situations like:

  • Poor quality of embryos that are not developing
  • Failure of IVF and ICSI treatment procedures
  • Severe DNA fragmentation in the sperm
  • Infertility with an unknown cause that has lasted for long periods.
  • Implantation failure
  • Severe oligoasthenoteratozoospermia

One thing to note is that IMSI is not used very commonly in IVF (in vitro fertilisation) labs. It is used on very rare occasions as it is very expensive, and the other fact is that it may not improve the success rate in all situations.

Benefits of IMSI

There are many significant benefits to undergoing IMSI treatment. One of them is its ability to correct the sperm cells, which enables an increase of 6000+fold or more of spermatozoa. Due to this, ISMI has a 15-fold advantage using this treatment. Additionally, it also removes the need for dangerous dye tests to determine sperm quality. Also, the sperm morphology

examination is done in detail, which allows the experts to look for problems in all parts of the sperm, which include the tail, neck, and head. Sperm DNA fragmentation has been linked to past problems. It also has a positive influence on miscarriage rates and affects conception and fertility rates.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection risks

There is a high success rate with IMSI compared to the ICSI technique. But the success rate of this procedure depends on the individual. There is a 38% chance of having a birth with ICSI treatment, but the same is true in the case of IMSI, which is between 30% and 60%. The risk with IMSI with respect to miscarriage is about 13% to 25%. The factor that contributes to this is the woman’s age. Based on age, some of the eggs may not be normal, which may result in an abnormal embryo during fertilisation.

To conclude, IMSI should be considered by couples who have had failed IVF cycles. It is also appropriate for those suffering from male infertility. The major disadvantage is the cost and the need to go to experts for the best results.


1. What is intracytoplasmic sperm injection?

ICSI is an IVF procedure for the treatment of infertility where a sperm is injected into the egg in a laboratory setting to create a fertilized egg or embryo.

2. How much does intracytoplasmic sperm injection cost?

The ICSI cost in India is anywhere between 1,50,000 and 2,00,000 per cycle. It includes only traditional and standard methods and techniques.

3. What is ICSI intracytoplasmic sperm injection treatment?

It is a treatment for men’s infertility where the sperm is injected into the egg.

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