Understanding ICSI's Costs

Relative Costs of ICSI in IVF

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.

Dollars and Sense

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.

You're previewing

We cover how male factor, non-male factor, poor responders, advanced maternal age, patients using PGS, and others respond to ICSI versus Conventional Insemination. We take a closer look at the specific metrics, like ICSI fertilization rate, needed to quantify a laboratory’s ability. We also delve into the data about how ICSI may increase the rate of birth defects and the urogenital impact to male offspring. We cite over 40 studies and use insights gleaned from interviews with embryologists, andrologists, reproductive urologists and reproductive endocrinologists.