In a recent discussion between women who have undergone fertility treatment and those considering treatment options the question of whether to pursue IUI or IVF came up frequently. Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and In vitro Fertilization (IVF) are two of the most well-known fertility treatment options provided at the AZARH fertility clinics. There are benefits to both of these specific fertility procedures and ultimately there is not a right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing IUI or IVF, as it varies by patient.
Ultimately, your specific cause of infertility and current fertility health, age and family planning goals are the most important factors to weigh when determining which route is best for you on the path to parenthood. Further, the complexity of the procedure, cost and success rates are important factors to explore. Although it may seem overwhelming, breaking each factor down by procedure is a helpful way to get an idea of which procedure fits your needs and family vision.
One of the main reasons patients choose IUI over IVF is the cause of the infertility. For women, issues such as hostile cervical conditions (such as thick cervical mucus or scar tissue) can often be bypassed using Intrauterine Insemination. For men who suffer from sperm or ejaculation dysfunction, Intrauterine Insemination can also help bypass these barriers to conception. Couples with unexplained infertility or who have issues accurately timing intercourse to coincide with ovulation can also find that one or more cycles of IUI can help them achieve their dreams of family.
As like with most fertility treatments, the female patient’s age plays a role in whether an IUI is likely to be effective. Women under the age of 35 have higher success rates with IUI than those over the age of 35. Depending on your age, AZARH may recommend that you commit to trying 3 to 5 cycles.
How complex is the IUI procedure?
Compared to IVF, the IUI procedure is significantly less invasive and intrusive. Additionally, IUI is only one procedure, is similar to a pap smear in length of time and takes place in the office while you are fully awake and alert.
Many patients who are wary of pursuing IVF cite the need to self-inject medication as a barrier. With IUI, unless undergoing a natural cycle IUI, medication will still be administered throughout the cycle similar to IVF in order to stimulate follicle growth.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is generally suggested to patients who are unlikely to be successful using Intrauterine Insemination due to the cause of their infertility.
Causes of infertility that indicate a need for IVF include:
- Premature ovarian failure
- Dysfunction of the fallopian tubes
- Unexplained infertility (combined with multiple failed IUI cycles)
- Recurrent pregnancy loss
- Severe male infertility
Just how complex is IVF?
While an IVF cycle involves two procedures and fertility medications, you will not be out of commission at any point for more than a day. Unless undergoing a natural cycle IVF, medication is administered throughout the cycle similar to IUI in order to stimulate follicle growth and maximize the number of eggs produced by your ovaries. When the eggs are fully mature, an additional medication is given and you will be prepared for the egg retrieval. During the retrieval process, you will be placed under anesthesia as the fertility doctor removes the eggs from each follicle using a minimally invasive procedure.
Once your eggs have been retrieved, fertilized, and matured to the right stage, the best looking embryo will be transferred into the uterus using a quick procedure completed while you are fully awake and alert in the office.
Assessing the Costs
The IUI procedure in Arizona, including follicle monitoring, the procedure and medication is overall less costly than an IVF cycle as it is not as complex. For an IVF cycle, the cost is often much higher, and the need to freeze and store unused embryos after a cycle can add an additional cost. However, while the cost of IVF at most fertility clinics around the country is over $10,000 per cycle, AZARH in the greater Phoenix area is proud to offer affordable IVF treatments in Arizona for just $5,500!
Determining which treatment protocol is right for you is a decision you will want to make after careful consideration and a thorough consultation with your fertility specialist at AZARH. We look forward helping you every step of the way on your journey to deliver a baby. Request a consultation today & we’ll make sure to answer all your questions and help decide on IUI or IVF.