Nowadays, many parents who have fertility problems are looking for a solution for having a baby. With the advancements in technology and high-quality equipment, fertility professionals use various techniques. When nature is unable to help you conceive naturally, you can try two artificial reproductive technologies, IUI or IVF.
What is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?
IUI is a simple medical technique in which the uterine canal is filled with partner sperm that has been prepared in a lab. Sperm are “washed” in a lab to remove seminal fluid and thicken them.
Sperms are bypassed by the cervix and go considerably faster into the fallopian tubes when they are placed higher in the uterine cavity. The objective is to improve the likelihood of greater sperm and egg contact.
IUI can be performed during a woman’s natural ovulation, which can be timed using ovulation prediction kits purchased over the counter (OPK) or in conjunction with fertility medications the woman is taking to support ovulation function. (1)
What is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?
There are additional stages involved in In vitro fertilization. In contrast to the normal monthly production of just one follicle by your ovaries, numerous follicles are produced during IVF by high dosages of injectable hormones.
The goal is to produce 10 to 15 follicles that contain eggs. Depending on characteristics like age, medical history, and ovarian reserve, some people perform more, while others perform less.
Oocyte retrieval, a 10-minute outpatient surgical procedure, is used to extract these mature eggs from your vagina. The resulting embryos are either implanted into your uterus or saved for later use after the eggs have been mixed with partner or donor sperm in a laboratory. (2)
Which is more successful, IUI or IVF?
Keep in mind that undergoing infertility treatments does not ensure having a child. However, it raises your likelihood of getting pregnant.
Although IVF has a theoretically greater success rate than IUI, the situation is more complicated. Relying on raw numbers and percentages doesn’t always help because your success rate depends on your physical attributes.
Success rates of IVF
IUI has a 15% to 20% individual success rate in each monthly trial. Three to four rounds of IUI with a cumulative success rate of 40% to 50% are advised by doctors.
In the general population, the average monthly pregnancy rate can only be said to be 1 in 5 couples per month.
Success rates for IVF
Various factors affect IVF success rates, including age, ovarian reserve, infertility reason, prior successful pregnancies, etc.
Most people may typically anticipate a single IVF round to be successful between 50% and 75% of the time. Patients may require two or three cycles of IVF when individual success rates are lower before achieving a successful pregnancy.
Which one is right for you?
Your doctor will begin by looking for potential causes of infertility, such as endometriosis, abnormal sperm, obstructed fallopian tubes, irregular ovulation, and defective sperm, among others.
To provide recommendations that are specific to your needs, your doctor also takes into account your age, known health condition, personal health history, and family health history.
IVF can be characterized as a tailored procedure in which the patient’s preferences and the doctor’s advice are very important to the medical planning.
However, if you are just starting your infertility treatments, it is important to accept that IUI and IVF may not result in pregnancy the first time. You may need more than one round of one or both of the treatments to get pregnant.
Know that concluding a successful pregnancy is a journey that can take months or even years.