The aim of this study was to investigate whether spermatozoon motility in polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) is associated with better embryo development and pregnancy rates in ICSI cycles. A total of 123 primary ICSI treatment cycles were included in this study. Semen samples were tested for motility before ICSI procedure in PVP. Within 3min, the presence or absence of motility was recorded. Sperm functions were examined by the aniline blue (AB) chromatin condensation test and the hypoosmotic swelling test, and the chromatin stability was evaluated by inducing its decondensation with sodium dodecyl sulphate and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA). Fertilisation and embryo scoring were evaluated. Fifty (64%) of 78 women conceived in the PVP (+) group; and 12 (26%) of 45 women conceived in the PVP (-) group; the pregnancy rate was significantly higher in the PVP (+) group (P=0.003). Semen parameters were observed to be similar in both groups. The mean number of total embryos obtained in ICSI procedure and transferred grade 1 embryos were significantly higher in PVP (+) group (P=0.01 and P=0.003 respectively). The presence of sperm motility in PVP is associated with increased pregnancy rate, higher percentage of good quality embryos, sperm chromatin condensation and decondensation.