When it comes to infertility, there is no one-size-fits-all solution and you will take a path that is unique to your situation. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) are two infertility treatments you can consider these days. Both are assisted reproduction techniques. In IUI, the spermatozoa are introduced in woman’s uterus according to her natural ovulation. In IVF, the insemination with sperm occurs in a laboratory, outside the uterus. You can decide which best for you if you understand the differences between IUI and IVF.
Read on to understand which one is for you:
When to Try IUI?
For a lot of patients, IUI can a great first line of treatment, depending on their diagnosis and situations. It involves inserting a partner’s sperm into a woman’s uterus at the time she is ovulating, hoping that the egg gets fertilized for pregnancy. This can be performed without fertility medications, depending on the egg the woman naturally ovulates that month. This procedure can work if the fallopian tubes are clear, there are enough healthy sperms and a mature egg to fertilize. You can opt for this treatment if you have an unblocked fallopian tube, can ovulate with the help of fertility medication, have a normal uterine cavity, and have a healthy ovarian reserve. IUI is usually quite effective for the following:
- Mild problem with ovulation. Women who have irregular cycles can opt for IUI to conceive on schedule. In this case, IUI should be used with fertility medications.
- Donor sperm. Donor sperm can be used with IUI to help patients or couples conceive.
- Cervical problems. Fertilization can be a problem in case of hostile or scarred cervical mucus. But this obstacle can be bypassed through IUI.
- Same-sex couples. Male couples who want to have a child can use a gestational surrogate.
When to Choose IVF
IVF involves the use of fertility medications to stimulate a woman’s ovaries to produce quality mature eggs. These eggs are retrieved and fertilized in a laboratory with sperm from either a donor or her partner. The best-quality embryo is chosen for transfer and placed in her uterus to implant and develop for pregnancy.
Sometimes, you may have better results when you skip over the IUI option and start your fertility treatment with IVF. In vitro fertilization can be a better option if you are more than 38 years old, have declining ovarian reserve, have blocked fallopian tubes, have decided to use donor eggs, or have serious male-factor infertility.