With more couples across the world. turning to the use of fertility treatments and assisted reproductive technologies, one of the most common questions patients ask their fertility specialist is: what is the difference between IUI and IVF?
The answer isn’t always clear and depends on several unique factors. It is important to know Intrauterine insemination (IUI) or In vitro fertilization (IVF) can both be successful at helping grow your family.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) – is a simple procedure that places sperm, collected from the partner and processed in the laboratory, into the uterine cavity. The “washing” of sperm in the lab removes seminal fluid (which can cause severe cramping) and concentrates the sperm. IUI may be performed during a woman’s natural ovulation which can be timed with over the counter ovulation predictor kits (OPK) or in conjunction with fertility medication received by the woman to assist in ovulation function. Placing the sperm higher into the uterine cavity bypasses the cervix and makes the passage to the fallopian tubes much shorter. The goal is to increase the chance that more sperm will encounter the egg.
IUI increase pregnancy chances with 15% – 18%
Indications for IUI:
- Infertility of immunological genesis
- Infertility of unknown genesis;
- There are minor abnormalities in the sperm analysis (such as concentration, motility, and morphology or shapes of the sperm)
- Donor’s sperm is being used to get pregnant
IUI is often considered as the first line of treatment for unexplained infertility, mild endometriosis, or mild male factor infertility
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)
A form of ART (assisted reproductive technology) in which a man’s sperm and a woman’s eggs are combined outside of the body in a laboratory dish, during IVF woman receives medications to stimulate her ovaries to develop multiple follicles with eggs. A minor procedure under sedation uses transvaginal ultrasound to aspirate the follicles and obtain the eggs followed by same day sperm insemination.
IVF increases pregnancy chances with 55% – 75%
Indications for IVF:
- Blocked fallopian tubes from scarring or tubal ligation
- Diminished egg supply and poor egg vitality
- Extremely low male sperm count or low motility
- Advanced endometriosis
- Infertility of unknown genesis
- Endocrine/hormonal disorders associated with the absence of ovulation or the deterioration of egg quality.
IVF is generally recommended for couples that have failed to conceive after three unsuccessful IUI cycles.