IUI vs. IVF: the procedures, success rates, and costs
The two most common and effective methods of overcoming infertility are IVF (artificial insemination) and IUI (intrauterine insemination). But before making any decision on treatment with such ART methods, you should consult your doctor, as well as find out all the possible information about IVF and IUI - who is suitable for, the features of the procedures, the success rate, cost and other important points.
Guaranteed programs IVF at Feskov Human Reproduction Group include not one attempt, as in many reproductive clinics, but as many in vitro fertilization cycles as needed until a successful result.
IUI and IVF - types of treatment
The most important difference between the two treatments is where the egg is fertilized by the sperm. With IUI, it occurs inside the female body, in the uterus, where sperm is directly delivered using a special device. Further, everything happens naturally. With IVF, the process of conception takes place outside the female body, in the embryological laboratory. If it happens and the embryo is created, it is transferred to the uterine cavity for implantation. It goes without saying that oocytes are removed from the woman's body for the procedure.
When IUI is indicated:
- infertility with ovulatory factor - without or with irregular menstruation, polycystic ovary syndrome;
- mild male infertility;
- dysfunction of ejaculation;
- cervical factor of infertility;
- semen allergy;
- unexplained infertility.
When IVF is recommended:
- pathology of the fallopian tubes;
- sperm abnormalities;
- genetic disorders in the family;
- for aged women and with a reduced ovarian reserve;
- uterine myomas;
- to select the sex of the child;
- unexplained infertility.
The IUI treatment process can be done with or without pre-medication to help the maturation of 1–2 eggs. At about the 14th day of the cycle, the washed and prepared sperm, with a catheter, is introduced directly into the uterus. This increases the number of sperm entering the fallopian tube by 1000 times. And it reduces the distance they have to travel to meet the egg, which increases the chances of natural conception for many people.
During the IVF procedure, individually selected hormonal preparations are taken according to the scheme, which can take from 2 weeks to several months. It is necessary that not 1-2, but 10-15 healthy eggs have matured. After maturation, they are removed from the ovaries and fertilized in the laboratory. As a result of conception, an embryo is created. After several days of cultivation, the embryo is transferred back to the woman's uterus.
- sometimes you don't need to take medication;
- the procedure is carried out in a natural cycle;
- non-invasiveness and painlessness;
- brings sperm closer to the egg;
- increases their number.
- effective in various forms of infertility, since conception occurs outside the reproductive organs, and the embryo is transferred directly to the uterus;
- no need to wait for ovulation - oocytes are removed before it;
- a large number of healthy eggs of good quality ripen;
- many medications are prescribed to increase the susceptibility of the uterus to embryo transfer;
- literally one healthy sperm is needed with the ICSI method, which is injected directly into the egg with a needle;
- genetic screening of the embryo allows you to identify genetic abnormalities, prevent miscarriages;
- you can choose the gender of the fetus.
Both procedures are safe, and the risks are minimal, with constant supervision, the right choice of drugs, the experience and qualifications of the medical team and clinic.
IUI versus IVF procedure - stages
IUI is conventionally divided into the following stages:
- Preparation three months before the procedure. This can be proper nutrition, avoiding alcohol, healthy sleep and rest, taking vitamins.
- Egg development. This period is either part of the natural development of the woman's oocytes, or is stimulated by drugs and lasts 5-14 days. When the oocytes reach their optimal size, ovulation is stimulated. This phase may or may not be accompanied by ultrasound monitoring and blood tests.
- Insemination, which is carried out closer to the day of ovulation. During insemination, washed and concentrated active sperm is placed in the upper part of the uterus through a small catheter inserted through the vagina and cervix. After insertion, the catheter is removed. Insemination takes only a few minutes. The procedure does not cause discomfort, but mild cramps may occur.
- The occurrence of pregnancy. If the process was successful, after 2 weeks, a blood test for pregnancy - hCG will be positive. Further, clinical pregnancy is confirmed by fetal heartbeat on ultrasound.
Basic steps in IVF:
- Preparatory measures are the same as before IUI - a healthy lifestyle, vitamins, strengthening immunity.
- Stimulation of superovulation. To increase the number and quality of eggs, you need to take hormonal drugs in individual doses. This usually takes about 2 weeks, but may take longer depending on the IVF protocol (long, short or natural cycle). At this time, the state of the uterine mucosa, the level of hormones, and the development of follicles are monitored.
- Egg retrieval and sperm collection. The collection of oocytes is carried out by means of transvaginal puncture - a low-traumatic operation under local anesthesia in 5-10 minutes. A tiny hollow needle pulls mature oocytes through the vaginal wall. Next, they are sent to the IVF laboratory. Sperm is collected on the same day or thawed, if it has been cryopreserved, washed and prepared for the IVF procedure.
- In vitro fertilization. Most often, through the ICSI method, the embryologist fertilizes the egg with the most viable sperm. If conception has occurred, the embryos are cultured for 3-6 days. Before being transferred to a woman's uterus, genetic screening of the embryos is done to ensure healthy fetal genetics. And also, the procedure allows you to find out the sex of the future baby.
- Embryo transfer. One or two healthy embryos are implanted into the uterine cavity through a catheter. Unused embryos are cryopreserved for future use.
- Taking medications that improve the implantation of the embryo into the uterine lining and support the fetus. If everything was successful, after 10-14 days the test will show 2 strips. And ultrasound will confirm the heartbeat of the future baby.
Based on the above, it can be seen that IVF is a more complex and high-tech procedure that requires special equipment, staff qualifications and time. This is reflected in the level of its success and the final cost.
Success and treatment costs
IUI is less invasive, so if the diagnosis permits, it is usually tried before moving on to the more invasive and more expensive IVF procedure. However, IVF helps to cope with a much larger list of fertility problems than IUI. And if a patient suffers from severe forms of infertility, then IVF is immediately prescribed.
There are studies that women who switch to IVF with IUI earlier or start immediately with artificial insemination become pregnant faster than those who did several cycles of intrauterine insemination. There is evidence that immediate IVF resulted in a higher pregnancy rate with fewer treatment cycles compared to those who had two IUI cycles before switching to IVF. While the immediate IVF group got pregnant faster, the overall success after 6 IVF cycles was similar.
IUIs are usually about 5-20% successful per cycle under ideal conditions. The success of IUI depends on many variables, such as age, causes of infertility, and medications. If pregnancy does not occur in the first three or four cycles of treatment, there is no point in continuing, it is better to switch to IVF.
Although the chances of IVF success vary greatly, depending on age, sperm and egg quality, the cause of infertility and the clinic. With IVF pregnancy occurs much faster due to the higher success rate per cycle. For people under 35, with ideal data, treatment success is usually around 50%.
The cost of IVF and IUI varies greatly and depends on a number of factors. IVF is costly, as it requires expensive reproductive manipulations, genetic and other innovative medical research, and medications, as well as time, because pregnancy does not always occur at the first IVF attempt. Per cycle, IUI is much cheaper. However, IVF has higher success rates and also has undeniable benefits in the form of birth of a healthy child, without genetic pathologies, gender selection, etc. However, IUI is not suitable for all patients. For people with difficult diagnoses in the reproductive sphere, only IVF can sometimes help.
Feskov Human Reproduction Group believes that infertility treatment is not a privilege, but a legal right of every family. Therefore, all IVF programs are guaranteed, until a successful result, for a fixed cost. A variety of packages will allow any childless couple to choose a suitable program both in terms of cost and the list of services.
IUI IVF In-Vitro Fertilization Insemination
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