Obstetric and perinatal outcomes of intracytoplasmic sperm injection versus conventional in vitro fertilization in couples with nonsevere male infertility

Routine use of intracytoplasmic sperm injection for all couples with nonsevere male infertility does not improve pregnancy and perinatal outcomes in the first in vitro fertilization cycle.

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VOLUME 114, ISSUE 4, P792-800


Lu Liu, M.D., Hongmei Wang, M.D., Ph.D., Zhongyuan Li, M.D., Jinlei Niu, M.D., Rong Tang, M.D., Ph.D.



To determine whether intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is associated with improved outcomes compared with conventional in vitro fertilization (IVF) for patients with nonsevere male factor infertility.


Retrospective cohort.


University-affiliated reproductive endocrinology unit.


Couples who received their first-cycle embryo transfer without severe oligoasthenozoospermia (OA) between January 2012 and December 2016 were included in this study.


Six subgroup analyses were performed according to the proposed indications for the use of ICSI as follows: non−male factor infertility, advanced maternal age (≥38 years), unexplained infertility, low oocyte yield (≤6), mild OA, and moderate OA.

Main Outcome Measure(s)

Live birth rates and selected perinatal outcomes.


ICSI resulted in live birth rates similar to those achieved with IVF (41.68% vs. 44.31%). There were no significant differences in the incidences of gestational diabetes mellitus, hypertension disorder of pregnancy, placental previa, postpartum hemorrhage, cesarean delivery, fetal macrosomia, small for gestational age, large for gestational age, neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission, and congenital anomalies between the two groups. Subgroup analyses showed that ICSI resulted in a lower rate of NICU admission in couples with moderate OA.


Our results suggested that routine use of ICSI for all causes of infertility did not result in better pregnancy and perinatal outcomes compared with conventional IVF in the first cycle. ICSI might be associated with a lower risk of NICU admission when used in couples with moderate OA. Large prospective studies are required to validate our current findings.

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.