Difference Between IUI and IVF

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The process of becoming pregnant is not always as simple as one might wish it to be. The method of becoming pregnant often requires additional effort and sometimes even the assistance of medical professionals. Intrauterine insemination (also known as IUI) and in vitro fertilisation (also known as IVF) are two methods that can be utilised in this situation.

It is a word that some individuals are more accustomed to than the other, often needing to learn the difference between the two treatments and what each treatment entails in its entirety. In vitro fertilisation (IVF) and in vitro ovulation (IUI) are two methods that can be used to increase a woman’s chances of conceiving a child, but they are not the same thing.

Difference between IUI and IVF?

The internal fertilisation that occurs during IUI treatment is stands out as the primary contrast to the external fertilisation that occurs during IVF. To put it another way, the sperm is injected into the uterus of the woman directly. If the fertilisation process is successful, this means that the embryo will implant itself there as well.

IVF is an assisted reproduction technique fertilisation that occurs outside of the uterus, also known as external fertilisation. In the process of fertilisation, the sperm and egg are mixed together, and once this step is complete, the fertilised egg or eggs are selected, and one or more of them are implanted into the uterus of the woman.

After fertilisation, the egg would ideally implant itself into the endometrial lining of the uterus, which would lead to pregnancy and the delivery of a full-term baby or babies.

What do IUI and IVF Have in Common?

Both In vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) share some similarities, the majority of which pertain to the preparatory stages of the treatment and the fundamental steps involved in human conception.

These involves the use of fertility drugs before the insemination or fertilisation process. The purpose of these drugs is to improve the success rate of fertilisation or to help with ovulation and help with egg retrieval in the case of IVF. Additionally, both treatments may include procedures to separate sperm of the highest possible quality from the samples provided for fertilisation.

Which is a better choice for you: IUI or IVF?

Both in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) share some similarities, most of which pertain to the preparatory stages of the treatment and the fundamental steps involved in human conception.

Both in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) may involve the use of fertility drugs before the insemination or fertilisation process. The purpose of these drugs is to improve the success rate of fertilisation or to help with ovulation and help with egg retrieval in the case of IVF.

Additionally, both treatments may include procedures to separate sperm of the highest possible quality from the samples provided for fertilisation.

Who Can Benefit from IUI?

IUI is recommended for individuals who have attempted to conceive a child naturally but have been unsuccessful. This means that couples under 35 may engage in sexual activity without protection for up to a year. 

If you and your partner are over 35 and have been engaging in unprotected sexual activity for the past six months, you and your partner may be candidates for IUI.

In addition, prospective patients for in vitro fertilisation should be in good health and free of any medical conditions that could harm their overall wellness.

Who Might Benefit from IVF?

It can be beneficial to single women as well as same-sex couples. If intrauterine insemination (IUI) has not achieved pregnancy, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) may be an option worth exploring for single women or couples of the same sexual orientation who hope to start a family. IVF with sperm from a donor can assist prospective patients in accomplishing this aim.

When to do IUI first ?

The timing of when you begin the IUI treatment is determined by your menstrual cycle and should begin on the first day of your period. During approximately 12-14 days, your fertility doctor will monitor your menstrual cycle using ultrasound and bloodwork. This ensures that an egg is developing normally and is prepared to be ovulated when the time comes.

When to start IVF ?

According to these guidelines, in vitro fertilisation (IVF) should be made available to women under the age of 43 who have been actively trying to conceive through natural, unprotected sexual activity for at least two years. Or who have undergone 12 cycles of artificial insemination, with a minimum of 6 of those cycles utilising a technique known as intrauterine insemination (IUI).

Which is more successful, IUI or IVF?

It is important to remember that undergoing infertility treatment does not ensure that you will have a child. However, this does make it more likely that you will become pregnant.

And although the statistics show that IVF has a higher success rate than IUI, the reality is less cut and dry than that. It is only sometimes helpful to rely on raw data and percentages, as this is because the success rate you achieve is dependent on the specifics of your body.

IUI success rates

The individual success rate for IUI ranges from 15% to 20% with each monthly attempt. IUI has a cumulative success rate of between 40% and 50%, so most medical professionals advise trying it three to four times before giving up.

According to Dr Rehmer, “the average pregnancy rate per month in the general population is only one in five couples, equivalent to 20% per month.” “With try to achieve the similar success rates with in vitro fertilisation (IUI), however many people still need to go to in vitro fertilisation (IVF).”

IVF success rates

Your age, ovarian reserve, the cause of your infertility, the number of successful pregnancies you’ve had in the past, and other factors all play a role in determining your chances of having a baby through in vitro fertilisation.

According to Dr Rehmer, “overall, most patients can expect to have anywhere from a 50% to 65% success rate with a single round of IVF.” Patients may need as many as two or three rounds of in vitro fertilisation before conceiving a healthy child when individual success rates are lower.

Bottom line

Consultation with a Fertility specialist who is board certified is a crucial first step in determining the most effective way to proceed after analysing your fertility situation and gathering information about your options.

Researching a clinic’s success rates before committing to treatment can also be helpful in the decision-making process; you should also contact your insurance provider to find out whether or not your policy covers fertility treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions

In vitro fertilisation (IUI) can be a useful starting point for couples struggling to conceive for reasons that cannot be explained.

However, intrauterine insemination (IUI) might not be the best fertility treatment for a couple. IVF is typically advised for couples experiencing any of the following challenges: Infertility in men of a severe nature.

IUI gives the sperm a head start and ensures that insemination occurs during ovulation, increasing a patient’s chances of becoming pregnant.
However, compared to IVF, IUI is less effective, invasive, and expensive.

According to the most recent findings, most fertility specialists will advise their patients to give IUI three rounds before considering moving on to IVF as a treatment option. The research has shown an increase in cumulative success rates after 3-4 cycles of in vitro fertilisation, which is why it is recommended that you undergo 3 cycles of IUI.

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Dr. Rukkayal Fathima

Dr Rukkayal Fathima, India's Leading Gynaecologist and the best fertility doctor in Chennai. She has 11+ years of experience and treated 1000+ patients. She finished her M. S., Obstetrics and Gynaecology from the Institute of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Madras Medical College), Chennai. She is a visiting consultant at St. Isabelle Hospital, Motherhood Hospital, Rainbow Hospital & Mehta Hospital. Dr Rukkayal Fathima specialises in Obstetrics care, Early Pregnancy Scan, IVF, ICSI, TESA/Micro TESE, Menopause advice, Gynaecological surgeries and endoscopy. She is a Co-Founder of Hive Fertility, the Best Fertility Center in Chennai.

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