IVF or IUI: Which One is Right for You?

IVF or IUI: Which One is Right for You?

There could be many reasons for a couple’s inability to conceive naturally. The good news is there are options available to build a family when conception is not happening naturally.

According to Fertility Specialists Medical Group (FSMG), the two most common methods to help a couple conceive are in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI).

What is IUI?

Intrauterine insemination (IUI), also called artificial insemination, is a procedure in which a sperm sample is prepared and inserted through the cervix into the uterus using a thin catheter. IUI is performed as close to the time of ovulation as possible. Ovulation can be a  monitored natural (non-medicated) cycle or, more commonly, with ovarian stimulation with oral or injectable medication.

IUI is a good option for couples when the female partner/carrier is not ovulating, or the female partner has polycystic ovarian disorder (PCOS). Couples with mild sperm disorders or couples using donor sperm are good candidates for IUI. In couples with unexplained infertility, IUI is a recommended first step for fertility treatment.

What is IVF?

IVF (in vitro fertilization) is an infertility treatment that combines sperm and egg(s) in our laboratory to achieve fertilization.

The resulting embryo (fertilized egg) is then transferred into the uterus. IVF offers the highest rate of success out of all treatment options for infertility, but it may not be the best option for every couple or individual.

IVF is the recommended treatment for those who have absent or blocked/damaged fallopian tubes. It can be used for low ovarian reserve, some male factor infertility issues, unexplained infertility, and severe endometriosis. It can be utilized to test for genetic defects in the embryo.

IVF can be used for couples who have not conceived with IUI, and IVF offers options to create families for LGBTQ+ couples.

IVF and IUI: What is the Difference

The main differences between IUI and IVF treatments are cost, time and invasive procedures with associated risks. For some couples, IVF may result in higher pregnancy rates with more embryos in a shorter period of time. However, IVF can be an expensive and time-consuming process involving egg stimulation, retrieval, fertilization, and transfer whereas IUI is less costly and less invasive.

To learn more about this topic and speak to one of our physicians about fertility treatments, please request a consultation here

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