IUI vs IVF – Which is right for you?
There are various factors that help determine which one is ideal for an individual and which must be tried first. Of the two – IUI and IVF – the former is a little simpler and more cost-effective, while the latter is an advanced form of infertility treatment. Both treatment forms address almost the same set of infertility challenges – endometriosis, male-factor infertility, pre-existing conditions, and others.
However, despite the similarities, there are also great variances between the two. In terms of complexity, IUI is a much simpler process wherein the sperm is directedly injected into the uterus of the female. It can be synced up with the menstrual cycle and completed with relative ease. Meanwhile, IVF is a lot more complex, involves multiple stages. In terms of risks associated, IUI involves a higher degree of risk of multiple pregnancies. While IVF doesn’t entirely eliminate such a risk, it certainly lowers it.
In terms of success rates, IUI is lower compared to IVF while IUI costs are much lesser than IVF. Thus, it is easily observed that the two types of infertility treatments present multiple scenarios for the couples to consider and arrive at a conclusion.
The final determination always rests with the patients in consultation with the doctor. Based on your age, risk profile, past failures, present complexities, and others – the doctor will present before you both scenarios with the pros & cons associated with them for your specific condition. And you are then allowed to make a determination for yourself based on the information available.
For patients who do not require hormonal medication and are below the age of 35, an IUI might be a good starting point for fertility treatments. Around 3 cycles of IUI will help you understand whether it is working or not, and what are underlying challenges causing failure. Following this, the doctor can then switch you to an IVF – which based on the information gathered during the IUI cycles, will be easier and hopefully more successful.
For patients who have a greater need for medication and monitoring and are on the higher side of their 30s, it may be advisable either to opt for one cycle of IUI before moving to IVF, or take the IVF route directly.