The IUI approach
Intrauterine insemination is a fertility treatment where sperm is placed directly into the woman’s uterus using a thin tube. This process helps to bring the sperm closer to the eggs, increasing pregnancy chances. Compared to IVF, IUI is less invasive and less costly. The healthcare provider will usually recommend IUI to patients with unexplained infertility or mild male-factor infertility.
In vitro fertilization is another common type of fertility treatment that involves fertilizing the egg with the sperm in the lab. The fertilized egg, or embryo, is then placed inside the woman’s uterus. This technique is much more effective than IUI, but success depends on various factors such as age, overall health, and the underlying reason for infertility. The doctor will typically recommend IVF if the patient has had 3-4 unsuccessful attempts of IUI. In some cases, going straight to IVF makes the most sense if a woman has experienced multiple miscarriages. Patients with endometriosis, blocked fallopian tubes, or severe male-factor infertility might also benefit from choosing IVF first.
Although these fertility treatments can increase the chances of pregnancy, there are possible risks, including ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) and multiples. The IUI procedure carries a small risk of infection, and IVF can cause complications such as ectopic pregnancy.
The likelihood of getting pregnant
Undergoing fertility treatment does not always result in a healthy baby. IVF has a higher success rate than IUI, but neither is guaranteed. In vitro fertilization has a success rate of about 50-75% per cycle. However, in some cases, the patient may require more than one cycle of IVF. The success rate of IUI varies based on the underlying reason for infertility, age, and whether or not medications are used.
Making the right choice
Selecting the proper ART treatment depends on the cause of infertility. The doctor will consider male and female factors when recommending treatment. Whether IUI or IVF is chosen, patients with an infertility diagnosis will be happy to hear that fertility treatment can help build a family.