Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and In vitro fertilization (IVF) are two commonly used methods of fertility treatment which increase a couple’s chance of becoming pregnant.
What is Intrauterine insemination or IUI?
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilisation. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increasing the chance of fertilisation.
What is In vitro fertilization or IVF?
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is an assisted reproductive technology – where the fertilisation occurs outside the body, therefore called “in vitro” or even as “test tube” babies. It is the process of fertilisation by extracting eggs, retrieving a sperm sample, and then manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. The embryos are then transferred to the uterus.
What are the advantages of IUI?
IUI is offered as an initial step in the treatment of certain conditions such as mild male factor subfertility/infertility such as marginally low sperm count to improve the chances of pregnancy or in couples diagnosed to have unexplained subfertility. Fertilisation process still happens in the fallopian tube mimicking a natural conception. As the success rate with one cycle is around 20%, one may need 3-4 inseminations before pregnancy is achieved. Many couples prefer this as it is quick, simple and not too invasive a way of achieving pregnancy.
However, IUI’s work when there are no blockages in the fallopian tubes with healthy sperm and eggs. And in case of irregular ovulation, experts may administer IUI with aid of some fertility drugs.
What are the advantages of IVF?
The biggest advantage of IVF is that it is designed to overcome some issues and maximise the chance of fertilisation by assisting it. The advanced technology allows selection of the embryo with the most potential to make it to pregnancy and replace it. If you choose to go for an IVF, make sure the lab is state of art with all the required technology. The advanced embryo selection techniques are very good for genetic screening as well and there are techniques to allow a couple to freeze the remaining surplus embryos for future treatment if needed.
IVF is advised to bypass all the medical issues that cause infertility and in cases where there has been a blockage or damage to the fallopian tubes, with male infertility such as decreased sperm or motility and in case of genetic disorders and unexplained infertility.
IVF involves multiple steps and it is often completed with aid of fertility drugs.
Success rates for both the processes are different, normally 50% success rate in IVF – and the cumulative success rates are also very good.
So, find out more about the procedure and clinics and choose carefully. Read our blog: 6 things to know when choosing a fertility specialist . Ask your specialists questions about the procedure your body will respond to.