IUI Versus IVF

Both IUI and IVF are advanced fertility treatments recommended to couples under different circumstances. Usually, when a couple fails to conceive naturally, this ART-based method is recommended to them by fertility experts. 

Before we dive deep into IUI vs IVF, let’s first understand what they are.

Intra-Uterine Insemination Treatment: IUI

IUI

Intrauterine Insemination is an ART-based( Artificial Reproduction Technology) artificial method of insemination in which washed and concentrated sperms are directly placed in the uterus around ovulation. The female partner’s ovulation cycle is coordinated with the procedure. She is put on ovulation medications like clomiphene citrate or  letrozole (aromatase inhibitor) to produce one or two eggs for fertilization to ensure higher chances of success of the procedure. 

In Vitro Fertilization(IVF)

ivf

IVF stands for In Vitro Fertilization. It is also an ART-based fertility treatment, which has helped couples struggling with infertility have their babies. It is a complex process and each step significantly contributes to the success of the process and it resolves a wide range of fertility issues.

IUI vs IVF

Though both come under assistive reproductive technology, they are different in some aspects. Their differences could be critically examined under the following headers-

1. When are they suggested?

Dr. Partha Das suggests IUI infertility treatment when the male partner’s sperm cannot reach up to the egg to fertilize it successfully. However, there are other reasons why IUI treatment may be recommended.

● If the female partner is diagnosed with endometriosis, irregular ovulation, or reduced number of eggs.
● If the female partner has open fallopian tubes.
● When the female partner suffers from PCOS, cervix scarring, or vaginismus (painful intercourse).
● If the male partner suffers erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation.
● If the exact cause of infertility is unexplained or unknown.

                                                                   Whereas 

Dr. Partha Das suggests IVF to couples who may have the following complications:

● abnormal Sperm parameters
● Blocked Fallopian Tubes
● Endometriosis
● Irregular Ovulation seen in PCOD
● Diminished ovarian reserve 
● Uterine fibroids 
● Genetic disorders
● Failed IUI attempts
2. How are they performed?

IUI involves artificial insemination which is well prepared beforehand. The process can be broken down into the following steps:

1. Preliminary examination: The female partner is advised oral supplement medications and subsequently undergoes multiple ultrasounds throughout the process to check the antral follicle count and endometrial lining.
2. Ovulation- The doctor puts the female partner on  ovulation induction medications continuously monitored by ultrasounds. The medications aim to mature multiple eggs and prepare the uterine wall for implantation and pregnancy.
3. Retrieval of sperm- When the eggs ovulate the husband collects his semen sample which is processed in the labaratory.
4. Artificial insemination- The retrieved sperms are washed, concentrated, and finally injected into the uterus by inserting a very thin IUI catheter via the cervix.

                                                                             Whereas 

The steps involved in the IVF process are:

STEP 1: Egg Retrieval: The female partner is put on ovulation stimulation medications, and when she produces mature eggs, the eggs are retrieved surgically by an IVF expert under ultrasound guide under Anesthesia.

STEP 2: Fertilization: On the same day of egg retrieval, a fresh sperm sample is obtained, and both, i.e., mature eggs and sperms, are mixed together in a petri dish and left in the lab for fertilization in conventional scenario. Otherwise ICSI technique is done wherein one Sperm is injected inside one egg. The fertilized egg or eggs are incubated until the embryo or embryos mature.

STEP 3: Implantation: The day 5 embryo called blastocyst is transferred into the uterus. After two weeks, a pregnancy test is taken to confirm the results.

3. Basis of Invasiveness

Both IUI and IVF are invasive, but IVF is more invasive than IUI because, in IUI, only the sperms are injected into the uterus. In contrast, the IVF process requires the retrieval of eggs and transfer of embryos. The implantation process can be discomforting, invasive, and involve some bleeding as compared to little or negligible discomfort caused during insemination in IUI. 

The process of implanting blastocysts is very crucial and requires tremendous experience and utmost concentration while implanting.

4. Number of pregnancy

IUI may cause multiple pregnancies because the process involves multiple egg maturation and sperm insemination,  leading to multiple fertilization.

                                                           Whereas

 IVF is a controlled process, and a couple can consciously choose to implant one embryo at a time thus reducing multiple pregnancies.

5. Cost of Treatment

IUI is comparatively less complicated than IVF, therefore, IUI is a comparatively more affordable process. So, Dr. Partha Das usually recommends IUI treatment first and then IVF if the couple does not respond to IUI treatment.

Whether IUI or IVF, each process requires tremendous experience, and we understand how keen you are to conceive. Consult Dr. Partha Das, one of the best and highly experienced fertility doctors in Dubai. He has dealt with some most complex, gynecological, and fertility issues and helped couples have babies.

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