To ICSI or not to ICSI?: Hello ladies... - Fertility Network UK

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To ICSI or not to ICSI?


Hello ladies,

After 5 years of recurrent miscarriage, we have finally decided to take a big leap of faith and give donor eggs a try! The clinic is encouraging us to try ICSI instead of conventional IVF, saying they are getting an extra 5% fertilisation rate even in non-male factory infertility. However the HFEA website suggests ICSI may present a potential risk of health implications on the egg and future child in non-male factor infertility. There are articles in medical journals to support both arguments.

I was wondering what everyone's personal views are on this, as my heart is saying to avoid any unnecessary risk, and my head is saying maybe we should give it a go?

12 Replies

Both of our rounds we have had ICSI, although our second we had enough eggs to do half ICSI half IVF.. of the two more of our viable embryos came from ICSI than IVF.

Our clinic told us that they had similar success rates with both but if either partner was slightly older generally ICSI had better results (we are both in our 40s). They said ICSI hasn't really been around long enough to have compelling evidence of any negative impacts as yet.

We had a BFN first round and a BFP second and our best embryo was ICSI.. but this has sadly just ended in MC (nothing to do with ICSI!). But I won't hesitate to do ICSI again as I believe it improved our chances (and proof was in more quality embryos through it). As you say its a very personal decision though.

Masses of luck whatever you choose xx

Hi Daisy, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences with me. I am also very sorry to hear of your recent loss, there is nothing I can say other than that I understand and my thoughts are with you. It is such a giant roller coaster of emotion, this whole process. I wish you all the luck in the world, whatever your next steps are xx

It is wonderful you were able to get more quality embryos through ICSI! I'm starting to feel I should just go with the clinic's suggestion, and I think my worries are mostly a fear of making wrong decisions, after so many previous losses... xx

I have researched this topic extensively when we first started doing IVF but we needed ICSI due to male factor anyway.

I’m not convinced about a clear evidence about risk of ICSI.

Here are some articles:

For regarding their own fertility if ICSI male child is conceived.


I hope this helps. Best wishes x

Hi Kari55

Thank you so much for sharing your research with me! I will read through the articles more thoroughly, but from first glance it seems that the rates of abnormal embryos or health problems actually isn't that different to conventional conception or standard IVF, so that is quite reassuring!

Many thanks and best wishes xx

Just wanted to say i am so sorry for all your losses, we have a similar history, but currently 9wk preg using donor eggs 🤞,m using icsi. However after doing lots of research before had this cylce i decided to get tested for hidden c test of which i was positive, course of antibotics then advised due to history to have a hystocsopy and deep implantation cuts. I flew out to a clinic in athens who did the hidden c test. Hysto showed severe scar tissue caused b infection and recurrent miscarriage. All this removed and the implantation cuts added. I then flew home and had my transfer the following month. I truly belive this has all helped me with this pregnancy. I saw my baby on scan last week and all good so far and the furthest i have ever got. This is my 8th pregnancy, of which i have lost the previous 7 all with the same partner

Please read my prevous posts for more info on what i have said above xx

Hello and thank you for your message and kind wishes :) Congratulations on your current pregnancy, it is amazing news and I hope you have a wonderful pregnancy! It is fantastic to hear about your success after experiencing previous losses. I will read through your posts as it sounds like we have had really similar histories. I have had the Hidden C test and treated with antibiotics back in November, however I had not heard of the hystoscopy or implantation cuts before - I will look into those and see if it might help me too. I think a lot of my anxiety about making choices like the IVF/ICSI one is coming from the earlier losses making me scared of making poor decisions. It seems though that a lot of people have had success with ICSI and so maybe I should just try to relax and trust the clinic's advice xx

My hubby had the sperm comet test which revealed medium fragmentation, i have always wondered if it damaged perm as well that causes recurrent miscarriage as my hubby has so serious health complications and has been on a cocktail of meds for over half his life. I started him on 3 months worth of male fertillty vitamins before egg collection of my last donor round, and i thinj the vitamins, antibiotics for hidden c and using icsi all helped. Re the hysto and deep implantation cuts as i was postive for one of the hidden tests and due tk my history was strongly advised to have it before my transfer. I'm so glad i did. You get to see the video after and its shocking! They told me the reason i lost my tubes will have beev down to the infection and scar tissue which upset me at the time as wish i had known about these tests years ago. Makes me angry that other countries are far more advanced than the uk and what they class as basic tests and procedures at a fraction of the price of what would be charged here.

Thank you for your kind words, i am a bag kf nerves at the min and everyday my mind is worrying! Keep having hope, and keep researching! Thats how i get through xx

I agree with you, in many ways the UK does seem to be far behind, and some of these things should really be available here - the hidden c test for example would be really easy to make availalbe and could help so many people.

I am sure you are a bag of nerves right now, after all you've been through before! It is hard to let go of the worry, but hopefully each day will get a little easier and your confidence and enjoyment of the pregnancy will grow :) xx

Hello! I had icsi in 2017 due to OH's low sperm count. We got a bfp and now have a beautiful 5 month old little girl. It worked for us 😊 I know how incredibly lucky we are. Just wanted to share a positive with you. Best of luck on whatever you decide.


Thank you for sharing your positive experience Lucylu_88, that is amazing news that ICSI worked for you, and so wonderful to hear about the arrival of your beautiful daughter! Thank you for your kind wishes xx

When I’ve been researching and talking to clinics a lot of them seem to use ICSI as standard and have moved away from traditional ivf. The reason they gave was because fertilisation rates are better and they have more success with icsi. Good luck.x

Hi Wishing. I'm sorry to hear pf your losses and years of trying. We had 4 natural mcs, 1 failed OE cycle and are on our 2nd donor egg cycle (1st one failed but so far this cycle appears more successful in terms of blast quality and number). My husband had the sperm comet which revealed a higher % of dna fragmentation, hence we have always had to use ICSI.

I agree it is so difficult to know whether you are making the 'right' decision when deciding on fertility treatment, particularly when you have suffered multiple mcs and questioned each time what went wrong.

Wishing you tremendous success in the future xx

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