When it comes to building your family, the array of fertility treatment options available can seem overwhelming as not all fertility treatments are created equal. Thanks to the wonders of assisted reproductive technology (ART), researchers and doctors have made many amazing breakthroughs with several fertility treatments. Assisted reproductive technology has progressed a long way since the first successful birth 40 years ago, and two of the most common – and most confused – procedures are in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI).
So it stands to reason that IVF vs IUI is a frequent question that couples ask when pursuing fertility treatments. There are factors to weigh on both sides and there is a significant cost difference – in fact, there are few similarities between them other than the end goal of a pregnancy. However, there are some situations where only one method will work.
What is IUI?
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) utilizes a catheter to transfer sperm – either the intended father’s or a donor’s – directly into a woman’s uterus in an attempt to achieve fertilization. The process helps to deposit higher concentrations of good quality sperm closer to the egg increasing the chance of conception. IUI may be advised for females who have an ovulation disorder and has attempted to achieve pregnancy with ovulation-inducing drugs with no success (in some cases). In addition, when they have an issue impacting the cervix or mild endometriosis and in the case of males having a low sperm count or have issues ejaculating.
- Prices for IUI vary by clinic and situation but typically they are lesser than IVF.
- As IUI’s do not necessitate medications, hormones or invasive surgical procedures, side effects are minimal.
- This is a non-invasive procedure and women are less likely to experience health problems as a result.
- Success rates most often depend on the age of the female, the status of their fallopian tubes, and the male’s sperm count.
- According to recent research findings, women under the age of 35 have 10-20% chance of pregnancy, whereas women between 35-40 have 10% and women above 40 have a 2-5% chance.
What is IVF?
Though there are several types of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) and several innovative procedures developed every year, In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) has established to be the most effective ART procedure. However, when it comes to infertility treatments, it is really important to consider that each patient is unique and that numerous factors need to be kept in mind when you try a method.
IVF stands for in vitro fertilization. IVF involves multiple steps and it is rather complex, a variety of procedures and medications. All these factors play a significant role in the final outcome of the IVF treatment.
In a nutshell, egg and sperm are combined in a lab for IVF treatment-incubated, and carefully monitored throughout the fertilization process. Over the course of 3 to 5 days, successfully fertilized eggs develop into embryos and subsequently, the embryo quality is scrutinized for transfer or freezing or for further culturing and development. For the woman, though, the IVF procedure actually starts weeks earlier. The specific events of each path in IVF may be similar for all patients, what varies is how their body responds at each stage.
The ultimate advantage of IVF treatment is that it provides previously infertile couples the opportunity to conceive but there are many additional IVF benefits.
1. The ability to overcome a variety of fertility issues: IVF treatment can help patients overcome a number of infertility problems. Here are a few conditions for which IVF is more useful.
- If a woman’s fallopian tube/s are blocked or damaged,
- Ovulation disorders, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Endometriosis (that surgery has failed to treat).
- Unexplained infertility problems
- older women/ patients with a low ovarian reserve
- Male factor infertility
2. Without question, the success rate of IVF is what makes it the most popular form of assisted reproduction. IVF consistently provides the highest success rates of all assisted reproductive technology (ART) treatments. IVF has higher success rates for patients under the age of 35, but patients in their late 30s and 40s can also conceive with IVF. Under the IVF umbrella fall gestational surrogacy and egg donation as well, which makes it an even more sought-after means of family building.
What’s right for you?
When it comes down to it, choosing which is right for you between IVF and IUI depends on your age, your budget and the conditions of both partners reproductive organs. Both procedures have promising histories of being successful, and it is up to your gynaecologist to decide which procedure you are most comfortable with. Trying IUI is often recommended first, but if you fall on the more challenging end of cases or time is a factor for you, IVF may be the better option to go. Talk over your situation with your fertility specialist to review your history, discuss a recommended course of action and consider the outcomes carefully which helps you make a good decision.
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