As you can see, ICSI ranks fourth in the list of major line-item expenses for IVF. However, we think it’s wise to consider whether ICSI is good value and how else that money could be used.
As we’ve mentioned, ICSI is a valuable tool for some patients, but not for others. If you are a patient and ICSI increases your success rate from, say, 34% to 37% (nearly a 10% relative increase), on a $20,000 IVF cycle, ICSI’s impact is around $2,000 and may be worth it. For azoospermic patients, where success otherwise is virtually hopeless, ICSI is worth every penny.
But what about for the majority of patients where there is scant, if any, data that ICSI improves live birth rates? Here we’re talking about the many, many patients with no severe male factor, no history of failed fertilization, and who will not be using PGD. In these cases, ICSI may well be money poorly spent.