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Difference Between IVF and IUI

4 min read

 

  1. Complexity

IUI is relatively simpler when compared to IVF in terms of procedure and time taken to perform it. In IUI, treated sperm are placed directly in a woman’s uterus when she is ovulating in order to fertilize the eggs. IUI is performed in conjunction with a woman’s natural cycle or timed with fertility medications to stimulate ovulation. IVF cost, on the other hand, is a process that requires more than one procedure. First, ovaries are stimulated using a series of fertility medications, then a woman undergoes egg retrieval under a mild anesthetic. The eggs and sperm are mixed together in a petri dish and left for fertilization. After embryos are formed, they are picked and placed directly into the uterus.

  1. Risk of multiples

IUI with fertility medication has a significant risk of multiple pregnancies. In reputed clinics, a doctor carefully monitors the follicles present in ovaries to make sure that only a safe number of mature are eggs are there, but despite the precautions taken, the risk cannot be entirely eliminated. In the case of most of the modern IVF clinics, they prefer blastocyst transfer, which means that only one or two developed embryos are transferred per IVF cycle. As a result, the risk of multiples from IVF treatment is much lower than it used to be. 

  1. Time

Both IUI and IVF take time and patience to achieve. In close comparison, IUI is a much shorter process than IVF. If the procedure is successful in the first cycle, it can be the quickest route to getting pregnant. However, because of the difference in success rates between the two treatments, some patients in their late 30s to early 40s may get pregnant faster by going directly to IVF treatment rather than going through several failed IUI cycles. 

  1. Cost

An IUI cycle costs much less than an IVF cycle as there are less preparation and procedures involved in it. However, depending on diagnosis, it may take a number of IUI cycles to conceive therefore it may be more cost-effective to go directly to an IVF cycle rather than going through with multiple failed IUI cycles. 

  1. Success rates

The success rate of IUI and IVF is never specific as there are many variables that can affect individual cases. IUI has lower success rates than IVF when it comes to women in their late thirties, the gap widens with an increase in women’s age. 

Average success rates in IUI using fertility medication range from 8 percent to 15 percent per cycle for patients under 40 years of age. It is two to five percent for patients over 40 years, whereas, in IVF, the success rates using women’s own eggs range from 40 percent to 45 percent for patients under 35 years to 15 percent or less for women over 42 years.

Right Candidates for IUI and IVF treatments

There are some situations where only one method can be successful in achieving pregnancy. Here are differences in infertility cases a doctor considers before going for a particular procedure. 

An infertility patient may benefit from Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) treatment if:

  • A woman has ovulation disorder and has failed to achieve pregnancy with ovulation-inducing drugs 
  • A woman has an issue relating to cervix
  • A woman has mild endometriosis
  • A man has a low sperm count or motility
  • A man has erectile dysfunction or has issues ejaculating
  • A couple is using donor sperm
  • A couple is experiencing unexplained infertility

Success rates of IUI can be compared with those trying to get pregnant naturally with healthily functioning reproductive systems. These rates often depend on the age of a woman, the condition of her fallopian tubes, and male’s sperm count. Recent studies have revealed women under the age of 35 years have 10 to 20 percent chances of achieving pregnancy, whereas women between 35 to 40 years have an average of 10 percent and women above 40 years have only 2 to 5 percent chances. In most cases, women under 35 years usually try 5 to 6 cycles of IUI before switching to IVF. 

Patients may benefit from In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) if:

  • A woman has blocked, removed or damaged fallopian tubes
  • A woman has advanced endometriosis
  • A man has a low sperm count
  • One of the couples has a genetic disorder
  • A couple is experiencing unexplained infertility treatments in Sharjah
  • A couple has undergone six or more failed IUI cycles

The process of achieving fertilization outside of the body and returning the embryo directly to the uterus remarkably increases the chance for success. Women under the age of 35 years have about a 43 percent chance of getting pregnant and women between 35 to 40 years of age have about a 20 percent chance. A single IVF cycle can cost as high as Rs. 3,30,000 in Delhi though many fertility clinics including embryo freezing. Though the prices of this option are comparatively higher than IUI, there are more chances of success. 

What is Right for You?

When it comes to choosing the right treatment between IUI and IVF, the patient must consider their budget, age, and conditions of the reproductive organs of both partners. Both procedures are reliable and have promising histories of being successful. It is up to the couple to decide which path they require and are more comfortable with. Usually, IUI is often recommended first, as it is less invasive with fewer risks involved but if a couple wants to achieve faster results IVF is a better route.

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