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Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) are both fertility treatments, recommended based on various factors such as age or cause of infertility.
IVF is a process involving different medications, procedures, and techniques, whereas IUI is a specific procedure performed to assist in the sperm’s journey to the egg to increase the chances of fertilization.
You can contact our IVF specialist, Dr. Shweta Goswami for more information to understand the different infertility treatments available.
Let’s take a look at both treatments in more detail.
What is IVF?
IVF is one of the best treatments for infertility, which is recommended by most doctors due to its high success rates and the use of cutting edge technology. There are various steps carried out during the IVF process. The initial stages of treatment involve diagnostic testing and stimulation medications, either provided orally or as injections to help increase egg production during ovulation. Once the eggs are matured, egg retrieval takes place to collect eggs from each ovary. The egg and sperm are then kept together in a lab where fertilization can occur. Once the embryo is formed, it will be transferred into the uterus for implantation. IVF procedures have proven to be the most effective option for couples who are struggling with infertility.
However, various factors, including age and egg quality, play an important role in increasing a woman’s chances of a successful pregnancy.
What is IUI?
IUI is a simple procedure often carried out to treat both female and male infertility. Your doctor may or may not administer fertility drugs during treatment. During the process, a sperm sample is collected, and healthy sperm are identified in the lab using a “washing” technique, before being transferred into the uterine cavity using a fine catheter during ovulation. This process increases the chance of fertilization by using a concentrated amount of healthy sperm and reducing the distance and time for the sperm to travel to the uterus.
Your doctor may recommend either IUI or IVF treatment options or a combination depending on your infertility problem.
Key differences between IVF and IUI
Here are some essential things to consider when deciding which fertility treatment is best for you.
Success Rate: Success rates for both IVF and IUI depend on several factors such as age, medical history, and type of infertility problem. The success rate of IVF is higher as compared to IUI. The success rate for IUI is around 8-15% per cycle for women who are below the age of 35. This number drops dramatically to 2-5% for women who are over the age of 40.
The numbers for IVF are much higher, ranging from 40-45% for patients under the age of 35 and 15% for patients over 42. It is important to remember that with either treatment, multiple cycles may be required.
Time: IVF treatment is a long process and involves different steps. IUI is a quick and straightforward procedure usually carried out in 5-10 minutes in a doctor’s office or fertility clinic.
Cost: The IVF cost is higher as compared to IUI and is a crucial deciding factor for many patients. Especially when multiple cycles may be required. The average cost for one IVF cycle in India is ₹1.25 lakhs and ₹10,000 for one IUI cycle.
Candidacy: Women who have infertility problems like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, or irregular ovulation are good candidates for IVF treatment. Those couples suffering from poor quality eggs, ejaculation dysfunction, or fallopian tube blockage can consider IUI. However, your chances of conception drop dramatically after the age of 40, in which cases IUI will not be recommended.
Risk Factors: During IUI, fertility medication can increase the number of eggs being produced, this can increase the chances of multiple births. In IVF, one embryo is transferred per cycle to reduce the risk of multiple births.
If we consider the success rates for both treatments, IVF has better odds. However, IUI can be a much cheaper option.
The treatment you choose will hugely depend on several factors like age, cost, the cause of infertility, success rates, and other factors. Before deciding on the right treatment plan, ensure all the required tests are carried out to diagnose the infertility problem accurately.
Although both IVF and IUI are conventional methods used to treat infertility, it is essential to discuss all your concerns with your doctor before deciding which one is best for you.
You can schedule a consultation with our IVF specialist, Dr. Shweta Goswami to learn more about infertility and what could be the best treatment plan for you.