Getting Pregnant With ART

When conceiving naturally is unsuccessful, some individuals and couples turn to assisted reproductive technology (ART) for help getting pregnant. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is perhaps the best-known ART treatment, but intrauterine insemination (IUI) is another great option many patients consider. Although IVF is known to be more successful than IUI overall, there are many reasons a woman may pursue IUI to have a baby.


Comparing IUI and IVF

Although factors such as patient age, underlying health conditions, and reason for infertility can all play a role in whether or not ART is successful, more people have success with in vitro fertilization. On average, about 15-20% of people undergoing IUI will conceive each cycle, while 25-35% of patients having IVF done will get pregnant. Although many women may be tempted to go straight to IVF after seeing the success rates compared, there are times when IUI is worth pursuing.

Lower cost, fewer medications

Plain and simple, IUI costs less money. This is mostly because an egg retrieval is unnecessary for this ART treatment. Instead, the male partner or donor’s sperm is cleaned, concentrated, and inserted using a catheter directly into the uterus where the egg awaits. Although medications will be prescribed to encourage egg growth during the cycle, the IUI approach generally requires fewer drugs since egg retrieval and embryo transfer are not performed.

Multiple attempts

Another pro to pursuing IUI is that the procedure can often be performed multiple times, given the lower cost. For women set on having a baby, the ability to pursue fertility treatment more than just once lowers stress and may increase overall success rates.

Going for IVF

In some cases, IVF makes more sense, and going straight to this higher-success procedure is a good idea. For many patients who have undergone IUI a few times without success, the fertility doctor will likely suggest moving on to IVF to increase the chances of conception. Patients with complicated infertility diagnoses, or women who have struggled to get pregnant in the past may also prefer to opt for in vitro fertilization. Women over 35 will often be told to go straight to IVF since a more effective procedure is often needed to help a patient get pregnant at this stage in life.

Pursuing parenthood wisely

There is a reason both IUI and IVF exist. Each procedure can help a woman get pregnant. Intrauterine insemination can often be a better choice for patients concerned about cost, those who want the option of trying ART more than once, and individuals who wish to avoid an egg retrieval involving more medication. On the other hand, IVF is known to be more successful and will often be recommended for older women and those who have failed IUI previously. Weighing the pros and cons with a fertility specialist is the best way to determine the correct procedure and successfully grow a family as soon as possible.

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