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(Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection)​

Explore the precision of IMSI and how it can maximise your chances of IVF treatment success

Understanding IVF With IMSI​

While ICSI injects a single sperm, IMSI goes a step further, acting as a microscopic matchmaker. Utilising high-powered magnification, IMSI scrutinises sperm morphology, selecting the few with perfect form and function. This targeted approach can significantly outperform ICSI in cases of severe male factor infertility, unlocking a higher potential for successful fertilisation and bring you one step closer to your dream of parenthood.

What Is IVF With IMSI?​

IVF with IMSI (Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection) is an advanced assisted reproductive technology that combines in vitro fertilisation (IVF) with a specialised sperm selection technique.

In traditional IVF, a single sperm is injected into an egg to facilitate fertilisation. IMSI takes this process a step further by utilising high-magnification microscopy to assess and select the best-quality sperm for injection.

What Is The IVF With IMSI Process?​

IVF with IMSI involves a highly detailed examination of sperm morphology (size, shape, and structure) using magnification techniques beyond those in conventional IVF. This meticulous selection aims to choose the healthiest and most viable sperm, potentially improving the chances of successful fertilisation and embryo development.

In the IVF with IMSI process, a woman’s eggs are harvested and fertilised with carefully selected sperm in a laboratory setting. This approach is particularly beneficial when the male partner has low sperm count or poor sperm motility. The resulting embryos are then transferred to the woman’s uterus, where they have the potential to implant and develop into a healthy pregnancy.

When Is IVF With IMSI Recommended?

IVF with IMSI is primarily recommended for couples facing male factor infertility, where the male partner’s sperm quality is compromised.

Male factor infertility encompasses a range of conditions that can affect sperm quality, including:

  • Low sperm count (oligospermia): When the number of sperm in the ejaculate is significantly lower than normal
  • Poor sperm motility (asthenospermia): When sperm movement is impaired, making it difficult for them to reach and fertilise an egg
  • Abnormal sperm morphology (teratozoospermia): When the shape, size, or structure of the sperm is abnormal, affecting their ability to fertilisation and embryo development
  • Sperm agglutination: When sperm clump together, making it challenging for them to fertilise an egg individually
  • Sperm DNA fragmentation: When there is damage to the DNA of the sperm, which can increase the risk of miscarriage or birth defects


IVF with IMSI can also be beneficial for couples with certain female factors, such as:

  • Unexplained fertility 
  • Previous unsuccessful attempts with alternative treatments
  • Women of older age for whom less invasive treatments may be less effective
  • Obstructed, impaired or removed fallopian tubes
  • Hormonal disorders such as Endometriosis, Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or other conditions
  • Individuals opting for surrogacy


IMSI is particularly beneficial for couples with these conditions because it allows for a more precise selection of sperm, increasing the likelihood of successful fertilisation and embryo development.


Both IMSI and conventional IVF involve injecting a single sperm into an egg to facilitate fertilisation. However, IMSI offers a more precise selection of sperm using high-magnification microscopy (6,000x to 10,000x). This allows for a closer examination of sperm morphology, selecting the best-quality sperm for injection which improves the chances of successful fertilisation and embryo development.

IMSI, PICSI, and ZyMot are all specialised sperm selection techniques that aim to improve IVF outcomes in cases of male factor infertility. However, they differ in their methods and target specific aspects of sperm quality:

  • IMSI (Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection) focuses on selecting sperm with ideal morphology. 
  • PICSI (Physico-Chemically Isolated Sperm Injection) selects sperm that are able to bind to hyaluronic acid, a molecule present in the egg’s zona pellucida.
  • ZyMot (Spermatozoa Activated for Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection) uses a microfluidic chip to activate and select sperm with the best motility and morphology.


The choice of sperm selection technique depends on the specific characteristics of the male partner’s sperm and the overall fertility assessment.

Success rates for IVF with IMSI vary depending on a range of factors, including the severity of male factor infertility, the woman’s age, and other medical conditions. However, studies have shown that IVF with IMSI can significantly improve success rates in cases of male factor infertility. For example, one study* found that IVF with IMSI had a 50% success rate in couples with male factor infertility, compared to a 20% success rate with conventional IVF.

*Yildiz B, et al. Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm injection (IMSI) improves pregnancy rates in couples with male factor infertility: A meta-analysis of 19 studies. Fertil Steril. 2019 Nov;111(6):1136-1144. DOI: 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2019.07.043. PMID: 31432800.

Like any medical procedure, IVF with IMSI can carry potential risks and side effects. These can include:

  • Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS): A condition that can occur when the ovaries produce too many eggs in response to fertility drugs. Symptoms of OHSS can include abdominal pain, bloating, nausea, vomiting, and weight gain.
  • Multiple pregnancies: IVF with IMSI can increase the risk of twins or triplets. This can pose health risks to the mother and the babies.
  • Infection: There is a small risk of infection from the procedure itself or from the use of assisted reproductive technologies.

IVF with IMSI treatment often involves the use of fertility medications to enhance the chances of achieving a successful pregnancy. These medications work by targeting specific aspects of the reproductive process, including ovulation, endometrial preparation, and sperm penetration.

Ovulation Stimulation:

To stimulate ovulation and produce multiple mature eggs for retrieval, fertility medications like clomiphene citrate (Clomid) and letrozole (Femara) are often prescribed. These medications target the ovaries, triggering the development and release of eggs.

Endometrial Preparation:

Once the eggs are retrieved, the uterine lining needs to be prepared to receive and support the embryo. Medications like estradiol and progesterone are used to thicken the lining and create an optimal environment for implantation.

Sperm Penetration Assistance:

To aid the IMSI process, hyaluronidase, an enzyme, is applied to break down the protective layer surrounding the egg.

The specific combination and dosage of medications used will vary depending on individual needs and circumstances. Your doctor will carefully assess your case and recommend the most suitable regimen to maximise your chances of success.

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