Q. Would my low sperm count have an adverse effect on IVF and ICSI?

Answered by
Dr. Ashok Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Oct 24, 2017 and last reviewed on: Aug 02, 2022

Hello doctor,

I am a 39-year-old male with a low sperm count of 1.9 million. My blood work shows that I have a high FSH. Our doctor highly suggested that I get genetic testing done before we proceed with an IVF or an ICSI. I would like to know why he would suggest that.



Welcome to

  • I would like to inform you that the low sperm count and high FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) are indicative of organic disorders of the testes. In other words, the parameters indicate the possibility of either a partial or a complete testicular failure.
  • The genetic testing helps to find out the cause of the testicular failure, and hence, the doctor has ordered for you to get one.
  • Also, the success chances of IVF (in vitro fertilization) are low if the cause of abnormal FSH level is not known. This could be another reason for him ordering the genetic testing.

I hope this answers you. Feel free to write back to me if you have more questions. Thanks and regards.

For more information consult a sexologist online -->

Thank you doctor,

Considering my low sperm count and keeping in mind my wife’s age, the doctor recommended IVF and ICSI as soon as possible. He then asked me to have blood work done after the completion of the procedures. The blood work results came back showing that my FSH levels were slightly high at 8.8. Although he mentioned that the genetic testing was not required for us, he strongly recommended having it done. I am wondering why he is recommending the genetic testing if it is not required. Is there a possibility that genetic testing would let us know if IVF with ICSI would work or not?



Welcome back to

  • Regarding your post, I have answered clearly that the genetic testing is helpful for identifying the cause of testicular failure. However, the effect of the results of genetic testing on IVF and ICSI are low to negligible.
  • The available research material indicates that the success rate for IVF (in vitro fertilization) and ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) is slightly lower in individuals with high FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) when compared to individuals with normal FSH. This could be the main reason for your doctor ordering genetic testing.

I hope this clarifies. Regards.

For more information consult a sexologist online -->

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