IUI and IVF are two infertility treatment options for couples who have trouble conceiving. The main difference between the two being that fertilization happens inside the female’s body in IUI, while it occurs outside the body in IVF. Since every case of infertility is unique to each couple, the option considered entirely depends on the type of abnormality.
We will discuss the scenarios where IUI is considered, and those where IVF is preferred.
What is IUI & IVF? Basic differences.
IUI is an alternative way of putting the sperm directly into the uterus, using aids and instruments.
During the IVF ART, reproductive cells are retrieved from the female and male, combined in a glass dish for fertilization, and the resulting embryo(s) implanted in the uterus.
IUI is less invasive and kinda more natural. IVF is a little invasive, but more advanced and includes the use of donor eggs.
InVitro process includes several steps, such as ovary stimulation, egg retrieval, fertilization, and embryo transfer. On the other hand, intrauterine insemination only involves injecting sperm inside the uterus during ovulation to facilitate sperm’s entry into the egg.
Reasons for choosing IUI vs IVF
According to Dr. Shivani Bhutani, Infertility Specialist at Eva Hospital, in some cases IUI is tried before going ahead with IVF. With an evaluation of the reproductive health of the couple, the right ART is suggested via discussions.
Reasons for choosing IUI
Intrauterine insemination is mainly used when you fail to conceive with normal intercourse or hormonal supplements. It could be due to the following reasons:
- Poor sperm motility – In some cases, the sperm cells contained in the semen do not have good mobility. So, they fail to reach the eggs and fertilize them. Sperm motility can be easily tested by providing a semen sample of the male partner.
- Physical issues in consummating sex – Some women suffer from vaginismus, an abnormality where the vaginal muscles contract involuntarily while having sex. Intercourse becomes painful and infrequent for both partners.
- Endometriosis– It is a condition in women where the uterine tissue starts growing outside of it. Abnormal tissue growth in fallopian tubes or ovaries stops semen from meeting the oocytes. Mild cases of endometriosis are fairly resolved via IUI.
- Hostile environment- Though uncommon, sometimes the vaginal fluid contains sperm antibodies that kill the sperm in the semen. IUI solves this problem by injecting the sperm directly into the uterus, bypassing the hostility of the cervix.
- Irregular Ovulation – Irregular or absent ovulation often caused by a deficiency in one of the sexual hormones make natural conception difficult.
- Low sperm count – If the sperm count is only a little low, IUI helps by screening the semen and inseminating artificially.
- Ejaculation problem – Anatomical or psychological problems with erection, penis, or retrograde(reverse) ejaculation also find a solution in intrauterine insemination.
- Unexplained infertility- All tests are normal, you have been trying, but there is no natural conception. We call it unexplained infertility. IUI can remedy it.
Reasons for choosing IVF
In- Vitro-Fertilization is a choice for couples for many varied reasons. Any of the following could be right for you.
- Low sperm count or motility- When the male has a low quantity of sperm in the semen, IVF facilitates fertilization with a high concentration of sperm from you or a donor.
- Ovulation problems – Faulty ovulation due to conditions like PCOS may not be solved with IUI alone.
- Fallopian tube problems – A damage or blockage in the fallopian tubes doesn’t provide enough access for intrauterine insemination.
- Timing your baby – IVF provides more control over the timing of the baby. You can freeze and store sperm as well as eggs. Also, for immediate pregnancy, there is no wait and watch interval.
- Acute Endometriosis – In acute cases of endometriosis, the sperm is unable to fertilize the eggs inside the body. In vitro technique is preferred in this condition.
- Using donor eggs – Whenever donor eggs from another woman are utilized, the embryos are developed in the lab and transferred to the mother to carry the pregnancy forward.
- Surrogacy – Due to age, fibroids, or other factors, a female partner is unable to go through a successful pregnancy. So, you provide the gametes, they are fertilized in-vitro and implanted in a healthy woman’s uterus to carry the child to full term.
- Genetic Disorder Screening – If you are afraid that one of you may pass on a genetic disease to the child, IVF helps you out. After fertilization, the resulting embryos undergo genetic screening. Only healthy embryos are chosen for implantation.
Don’t give up hope
Never lose hope! Visit an infertility clinic and evaluate your candidacy for the procedure that is best for your, your partner’s, and future baby’s health. Your miracle baby is waiting for you.