IUI vs IVF: Which is the Best for you?

When the patient finds difficulty in getting pregnant, the array of fertility treatment available makes them very excited and raises their hopes. When you start searching for the options you get the information which adds to your question rather than getting the clear answer.

How to decide what is the right treatment for you and is that the right decision?

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) are two ways that are most popular infertility treatment available today.

One must try to  understand  and  should  be clear to them  when to  opt  for IUI or IVF  and what is the success rate for the option they are looking for  in particular .

Treatment has to be individualized, there are many factors based on which treatment is planned.

Based on the test reports your treating doctor will decide and discuss with you how to proceed further.

What is the difference between the two procedures IUI and IVF?  Factors which decide for the mode of treatment are:

  • Age of the female partner (most important)
  • Duration of infertility
  • Egg reserve
  • Status of fallopian tubes (open / blocked)
  • Sperm count /motility /morphology
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Presence and severity of endometriosis

No doubt IUI is the simplest procedure. The prepared semen is directly placed in the patient’s uterus around the time of ovulation in order to help fertilization. The process of IUI can also be performed in sync with woman’s natural cycle or timed with fertility medication to stimulate ovulation.

For IUI to be successful, patient should be of less than 35 yrs, fallopian tubes should be healthy and semen parameters should be normal or minimally deranged.

If any of these parameters are disturbed then chances with IUI reduces and one need to proceed for   IVF.

IVF, on the other hand, has better success rate.   In the first stage, ovaries are stimulated using a series of hormonal injections. Then the patient under the influence of mild anesthesia undergoes egg retrieval. After the embryo have been created and incubated in the lab are directly placed into the uterus.

Success rate:

It is not a very easy task to be very specific about the success rate of the given treatments as there are so many variables that affect a particular case. But still statistically speaking IUI has a lower success rate than IVF and the gap further widens with the age of women.

For IUI the success rate ranges from 8% to 15% with age under 35 and 2% to 5% for patients over 40 years of age. Similarly, for IVF the success rate ranges from 40% to 45% with age under 35 and 15% or less for women over 42.