IVF or IUI: Which one to choose for a fertility treatment?

Both, IVF and IUI, are fertility treatments that are done to help a woman become pregnant. But which one is right for you? Read on to know.
fertility treatment
Find out which one is better for you here. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj Published: 4 Sep 2022, 13:30 pm IST
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Are you also struggling to conceive after months of unprotected sex? If you are planning to look for fertility treatments, let us tell you two most common treatments which leave people confused. These are In vitro fertilization (IVF) and Intrauterine insemination (IUI). So, how to decide whether to go for IUI or IVF? What are the risks involved with both processes? Come, let’s get answers.

Here’s everything about IUI treatment

IUI is a fairly simple treatment usually carried out in combination with fertility drugs. The procedure begins with monitoring a woman’s menstrual cycle under ultrasound to rule out the presence of ovarian cysts that could interfere with ovulation. When you are ready to ovulate, highly motile sperm from your partner or donor is washed and concentrated, and placed into your uterus. You might be the right candidate for IUI if you are suffering from unexplained fertility – when no cause can be found for your infertility or in the case of male infertility wherein your partner either has a low sperm count or low motility.

IUI being less invasive and less expensive could be your first reasonable option if you have time on your side and are free of any factors that prevent you from trying it. Besides, it requires fewer medications and even none at all in some cases.

fertility treatment
Choose it wisely! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

It may be useful for people who have ejaculation disorder and are unable to have intercourse either due to stress or psychological issues around the time of formulation.

Here’s everything about the IVF process

The IVF process has higher chances of success when doctors can attempt fertilization on a larger number of eggs, for which, a female patient is typically placed on ovary-stimulating medications to make her body produce multiple eggs in one cycle. The eggs are retrieved from the patient’s ovaries when they are sufficiently mature and combined with the sperm from the semen sample followed by careful observation by an embryologist for about five days.

Also, read: Keep your calm during fertility treatment with these 5 tips

The embryos formed by using this procedure can either be transferred back to the uterus in hopes of conception or frozen for use in a later pregnancy attempt.

IVF may be a good option if you have blocked fallopian tubes, are suffering from endometriosis, unexplained infertility, decreased ovarian reserve, or have male infertility issues. On the other hand, it might not be a viable option for women suffering from ovarian dysfunction, uterine abnormalities, fibroid tumors, or abnormal hormone levels.

Some of the risks associated with IVF include multiple births, especially if more than one embryo is placed into your uterus, premature delivery and low birth weight, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, ectopic pregnancy, etc.

IVF in combination with ICSI

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is one major reason that makes IVF more successful for those with severe male factor disease in comparison to IUI-IntraUterine Insemination. The process makes use of a single sperm injected directly into an egg (as opposed to a normal IVF cycle without ICSI that allows normal mixing in a laboratory dish followed by natural fertilization).

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Also, read: You must focus on self-care while undergoing fertility treatment. An expert explains why

IVF in combination with ICSI offers hope to those with very low sperm count, sperm with difficulty moving or penetrating the egg due to its shape or structure or sperm extracted directly from the testicles.

IVF and genetic testing of embryos

Genetic testing of embryos that are created in the lab is another major benefit of IVF vs IUI. This allows testing of general genetic health of embryos like specific single-gene disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, ensuring they have the proper number of chromosomes and more.

fertility treatment
Age is the most significant factor when it comes to IVF. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

IUI vs IVF: Chance of multiples

The chance of having multiples such as twins, triplets, and more is considered to be the result of IVF, contrary to the belief, it is more common with a medicated IUI cycle (especially that makes use of injectables), because doctors have less control over how many eggs are released and fertilized.

Success rates of IUI vs IVF

The chances of success vary for every patient depending on their diagnosis, age, medical history, etc. However, IVF has significantly higher success rates and though it is more expensive, it may be worthwhile for some patients.

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About the Author

Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj is a gynaecologist, fertility and IVF expert. She is an Obstetrician, Gynecologist, Fertility & IVF Expert at The Nurture clinic in the capital. She is an MBBS, DNB, MNAMS and M. Med Science in Assisted Reproductive Technology from the University of Nottingham, UK. She has received training from renowned centres like Nurture IVF centre (Nottingham, UK) and Farah IVF specialist centre and Hospital (Jordan). Her expertise in reproductive endocrinology, Infertility, ART, High Risk Pregnancy Management, Laparoscopic Surgeries, Hysteroscopic Surgeries (Minimal Invasive Surgeries) matches the best in the respective areas. She has over 16 years of experience in the field of reproductive medicine. She has successfully treated patients with various infertility issues such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, male factor infertility, and unexplained infertility. ...Read More

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