IUI and IVF are the two most commonly used methods of fertility treatment which help couples in increasing their chances of becoming pregnant. Determining the key point of differences between IUI and IVF will help the couples in deciding which method of treatment is best suitable for them.
Intrauterine Insemination is also known as IUI and it is a procedure where the sperm is directly injected or implanted into the uterus. The procedure has to be well-timed along with ovulation. It should be performed once the ovulation period is detected. You may or may not be asked to take medications for stimulating your ovaries for the production of more eggs. In the IUI procedure, higher concentrations of sperm are deposited near the area where the egg is waiting. This helps in increasing the chances of a successful conception.
Invitro Fertilisation is known as IVF. It is a little more complex process. This process begins with stimulating the ovaries. This stimulation enables the production of multiple eggs at once. After this, the eggs are removed from the ovary. Once the eggs are retrieved, they are fertilized with sperm in a lab. The last step of the procedure involves placing the fertilized eggs or embryo back into the uterus.
There is a higher chance of multiple babies with IUI. this happens because the fertility medication that you are given to increase ovulation may lead to more number of eggs being ready for fertilization. Your healthcare provider will monitor follicles to try and avoid this from happening, but nobody can completely eliminate the risk. In the IVF procedure, only one embryo is transferred per cycle which helps in avoiding the risk of multiple births.
There is also a time difference between the two procedures, IUI and IVF. IUI is a much briefer process. Thus, if you conceive successfully, it is a quicker way to have a baby. Many women who are in their early thirties or older might try IVF first. This is because there is a considerable gap in the success rates. This saves them time as their infertility is rapidly declining by that age. It avoids the time wasted in failed cycles with IUI.
Is IUI Better than IVF?
In terms of the success rates, IVF is considered better than IUI. But IUI is a much cheaper fertility treatment option for couples. Only your fertility specialist can determine which one is better depending on a few different factors that apply to each couple.
Why Try IUI First?
For couples in which the woman has at least one unblocked fallopian tube, it can make more sense to try IUI first. Couples, where the female partner can ovulate properly with medication, or has a sufficient amount of healthy eggs, or has a normal uterine cavity, can also opt for IUI first. The IUI procedure is effective for women with mild ovulation issues, cervical issues, or using donor sperm because of male infertility.
The process also works wonders for same-sex couples, where the females can make use of donor sperms. In the case of male couples, they can use their own sperm and with the help of a surrogate, they can have a baby.
Why Go Straight to IVF?
Some couples might think it makes more sense to go straight away to the IVF procedure. For women above the age of 38, IVF treatment Doctor recommended to go straight to IVF, as their fertility is at a rapid declining stage. It also makes sense to opt for IVF first if a woman has blocked fallopian tubes, or has a reduced ovarian reserve, or needs to use eggs from a donor. In case if you require genetic screening before conception, IVF is a smarter and better option for you. Some same-sex couples also take advantage of the IVF procedure for increasing their chances of becoming pregnant.
IUI vs IVF Cost
One of the major concerns with most infertile couples is the affordability of the treatments. They are unaware of the cost of both IUI and IVF. in general, both IVF and IUI are not covered under insurance plans.
IUI is way cheaper than the IVF procedure. The average cost of IVF in India can be between Rs.80,000- Rs.2,00,000 per cycle.
IUI and IVF Success Rates
The success of both fertility treatment procedures highly depends on the age of the woman and the cause of infertility. There are other deciding factors too, but age and cause of infertility are dominant factors that affect the success rates of both IUI and IVF.
The average success rate of Intrauterine Insemination along with fertility medicines like Clomid and others, for patients who are under the age of 35 is 8-15% per cycle. This number drops to about 2-5% for patients who are above 40. The numbers are much higher for IVF. The success rate of Invitro Fertilisation ranges somewhere between 40-45% for patients who are under 35. The success rate drops as low as 15% for patients who are above the age of 42.