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IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) or IVF (In Vitro Fertilization)

March 11, 2024

Deciding what is the right fertility treatment for you, IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) or IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) is a challenge. Both procedures can help couples achieve their dream of parenthood but understanding the differences between the two can help you make an informed decision. In this blog, we will understand the difference between IUI and IVF which will help you to determine right fertility treatment option for you.

Book an Appointment with Dr. Astha Gupta for all your Fertility concerns.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

IUI, also known as artificial insemination, involves placing sperm directly into a woman's uterus to increase the chances of fertilisation. First, the female partner is prescribed certain medications to form a follicle which is followed by regular follicular monitoring to see the development of the follicle. Once the follicle has reached an appropriate size, a trigger injection is given to rupture the follicle followed by IUI. Before undergoing IUI, both partners may need to undergo various tests to assess their fertility status.


The couple can choose IUI only when at least one of the fallopian tubes is patent and female partner should have a good egg reserve. This procedure is commonly recommended for couples who are dealing with MILD male factor infertility or unexplained infertility. If a male partner’s semen is severely affected, IUI should not be opted. IUI is not a good option if the female is of advanced age (>35 years) with low egg reserve. IUI is not the treatment option in patients with severe endometriosis or both blocked tubes.

Benefits of IUI

  • Simpler Procedure and Less Invasive than IVF: Unlike IVF, IUI does not require surgical egg retrieval or embryo transfer.
  • Lower Cost: Compared to IVF, IUI is generally more affordable, making it an option for couples on a budget.
  • Minimal Side Effects: The side effects associated with IUI are generally mild and temporary.

Limitations of IUI

  • Lower Success Rates: The success rates of IUI are lower compared to IVF
  • Limited Control over Fertilisation: With IUI, fertilisation occurs naturally inside the woman's body, which means there is less control over the process.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

IVF is a more involved fertility treatment that combines the fertilisation of eggs and sperm outside the body. It begins with ovarian stimulation to produce multiple eggs, which are then retrieved and fertilised in a laboratory. After several days of development, one or more embryos are transferred back into the woman's uterus.

Benefits of IVF

  • Higher Success Rates: IVF offers higher success rates compared to IUI, making it a preferred option for couples who have been unsuccessful with other treatments.
  • Increased Control over Fertilisation: IVF allows for better control over various aspects of the fertilisation process
  • Suitable for Various Infertility Factors: IVF can help couples overcome a wide range of fertility challenges, including severe male factor infertility, tubal blockages, endometriosis, and advanced maternal age with low egg count.
  • Option for Fertility Preservation: IVF offers the opportunity to freeze and store embryos for future use, allowing individuals or couples to preserve their fertility.

Limitations of IVF

  • Higher Cost: IVF is a more expensive treatment option compared to IUI due to advanced laboratory techniques and injections involved.
  • More Invasive: IVF requires surgical procedures for egg retrieval and embryo transfer, which may involve some discomfort and recovery time.
  • Increased Risk of Multiple Pregnancies: The use of multiple embryos during IVF increases the chances of multiple pregnancies, which come with their own set of risks.

Also Read : IVF vs ICSI Fertility Treatment

How do I know if IUI or IVF is right for me?

It is best to consult with a fertility specialist who can evaluate your specific situation and recommend the most suitable treatment option based on factors such as age, medical history, and fertility test results.

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