IUI or IVF? This is a question many couples with difficulties conceiving will ask when exploring fertility treatments for assistance. While it is always recommended to consult a healthcare provider before deciding, knowing what assisted reproductive technologies (ART) entail helps you make the right choice.

Below, we provide a high-level overview of these two procedures and what determines if you are a good candidate for them.

What are IUI and IVF?

IUI and IVF are the two most common procedures providing fertility assistance for couples. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) involves depositing sperm directly into the uterus during the fertile window to give it a head start and facilitate natural fertilization.

In contrast, in-vitro fertilization (IVF) has the mother take medications that help them develop many mature eggs. These eggs are then removed from their ovaries, fertilized, and developed in a laboratory. After several days, they are returned into the uterus as an early-stage embryo.

Your fertility specialist will conduct several tests to determine which treatment option best suits you. Based on the results, they can also provide you with an estimated success rate of conception through natural means or with the help of fertility treatment.

IUIs is More Natural and Less Invasive

Couples with infertility issues typically start with the less invasive IUI treatment. As mentioned, this process involves placing a washed sperm directly into the mother’s uterus as part of their natural cycle or alongside medications like letrozole or clomiphene citrate, which is usually the case.

The higher motile sperm count in the washed sperm sample means a greater chance of fertilizing an egg, which is further increased by not having to “swim” farther to reach their target as they begin their journey in the uterus. Besides helping with infertility, IUI also benefits couples with trouble conceiving for other reasons like sexual dysfunction or busy work/travel schedules.

Most importantly, it is vital to note that undergoing IUI requires women to take medication that induces ovulation or increases the number of eggs their bodies make each month. That said, this also increases the likelihood of having twins or more babies. While many couples welcome this possibility, having multiples typically introduces complications for the mother and the babies.

Reasons to Pursue IVF

Although IUI is a great starting point for solving ovulation issues or unexplained infertility, it is not the most suitable treatment for every couple. This is where IVF comes in, and it is usually recommended for situations such as:

  • Lack of success using IUI
  • Severe male infertility
  • Blocked Fallopian tubes
  • Concerns about passing on genetic disorders

For those worried about passing on a genetic condition, have had unsuccessful IUI cycles, or experienced miscarriages, your fertility specialist may recommend taking preimplantation genetic testing before starting IVF treatment. This advanced scientific procedure helps identify any chromosomal abnormalities or genetic disorders in embryos and identify which embryo is the best choice to transfer.

How to Decide Between IVF and IUI

Consulting with a fertility doctor is the best way to know whether IUI or IVF is right for you. And while you may know which is the right decision for you, a medical professional can provide expert recommendations according to your age, health, and cause of infertility to guide you to the treatment that offers the best chance of getting pregnant.

Younger couples tend to see more success with IUI, so they are generally better candidates for the treatment. That said, the procedure can be rather costly if fertilization is unsuccessful and requires several more rounds of IUI. Thus, consider not just the benefits but also the costs and risks involved before deciding.

Find out Which Fertility Treatment is Right for You

If you have gone more than a year at conceiving without success, it may be time to reach out to a fertility expert. At the O&G Specialist Clinic, we provide infertility treatments and management services that help resolve whatever is inhibiting your ability to conceive. From fertility screening to IVF or IUI treatment in Singapore, we are committed to supporting you as you strive towards making your dreams of having a family come true.

Contact us to learn more, or schedule a virtual consultation today.


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