IVF or IUI: What’s the right infertility treatment for you?

Published on: 16 January 2022, 12:01 pm IST

When it comes to seeking infertility treatment, the confusion about choosing either IUI or IVF is natural. An expert gives you a primer on both treatments.

Pelvic inflammatory disease
There can be many reasons which can trigger pelvic inflammatory disease. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Dealing with infertility and opting for the most effective form of assisted reproduction could be quite a task. At times, couples face a tough predicament on the choice of treatments. Let us evaluate two common which treatment may be right for you.

The two most common procedures for fertility treatments – IVF and IUI are used by couples who need fertility assistance. It might be difficult for many to understand which treatment would benefit them the most. If you are facing infertility, your doctor will prescribe you the potential treatment according to your current health status and the causes behind infertility.

Both IVF and IUI assist in conceiving a child. However, there are some key differences among these procedures that you should know about, to make a practical decision.

What is IVF?

In-vitro fertilization or IVF is a process in which a woman’s eggs are retrieved from the ovaries and fertilized with a sperm in a laboratory. The resulting embryo is then placed in the woman’s uterus or womb to achieve a pregnancy. It may take months to achieve successful results of IVF treatment.

Reasons to go for IVF

IVF is the best option for patients who suffer from blocked or damaged fallopian tubes which prevent a natural pregnancy. Also, couples with a history of miscarriages, azoospermia, PCOS, endometriosis, etc choose IVF to conceive. Cases in which IUI, which is the first step before IVF, fails, also go for IVF as the second-line treatment.

 infertility
Considering the IVF treatment route for pregnancy, are you? Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What is IUI?

Intra-uterine insemination (IUI), also known as artificial insemination, is a process in which the doctor places washed sperm from the male partner or a sperm donor directly into the uterus of the female partner. The sperm travels naturally through the vagina up to the fallopian tubes for fertilization. The chances of pregnancy increase when IUI take place during ovulation. Women have to take hormones and medications to induce ovulation.

Reasons to go for IUI

IUI is generally recommended by doctors as the first step to patients suffering from PCOS, anovulation or issues with sperm health. IUI is also beneficial for same-sex couples and single mothers.

IVF or IUI: Which is better?

IVF treatment can be expensive for people in comparison to IUI treatment. IUI is less expensive and involves fewer steps than IVF. However, IVF might be on the expensive side, but it has higher success rates, resulting in higher chances of getting pregnant. The chances of success usually depend on the health conditions among both the partners, their medical histories and whether the procedure is done right or not.

infertility
You must consume a nutritious diet, before and after IVF treatment. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

On the other hand, IUI is non-invasive and a more natural treatment than IVF. Couples who face infertility problems usually start with IUI. Generally, this is the only treatment prescribed to patients, but if the cycle fails, patients move to IVF. IUI is highly beneficial for people facing sexual dysfunction. However, there are multiple risks involved in the treatment. Women have to take hormones and medications to induce ovulation and increase the number of eggs released in a month. This increases the chances of two or more pregnancies, causing complications among both mother and the babies. The chances of multiple pregnancies are low with IVF when a single embryo
is transferred.

What should you choose?

Your fertility expert can recommend what is the best option for you. The decision is usually taken by both the doctor and the patients, which depends on several factors like age, budget, health etc. Since situations are unique for everyone, consulting a specialist can ease your decision-making process.

Dr Simi Kumari Dr Simi Kumari

Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility East, Patna

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