Deciding which fertility treatment is right for you can be a challenging and emotional decision. Today, with advancements in assisted reproductive technologies (ART), the SIRM St. Louis fertility specialists are able to provide multiple treatment options based on your specific challenges and family planning goals. Two of the most well-known fertility treatment options are Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and In vitro Fertilization (IVF). While there are similarities between the two options, overall the procedures are quite different. When deciding with your fertility doctor which option is best for you, it is important to consider the cause of infertility, the complexity of the procedure itself, the costs and the overall length of time of the procedure cycle. When examining the big picture of IUI versus IVF, although the treatment cost is lower, IVF may be the more practical and efficient choice due to higher success rates per cycle.

About IUI Procedure

Causes of Infertility:

  • Unexplained infertility
  • Sperm dysfunction (such as low sperm count or decreased sperm mobility)
  • Cervical conditions that are hostile for sperm (such as cervical mucus that is too thick or the presence of scar tissue)
  • Issues with timing intercourse and ovulation correctly
  • Possible ejaculation dysfunction

Complexity of Procedure:

  • Less invasive and intrusive than IVF
  • Unless undergoing a natural cycle IUI, medication is administered throughout the cycle similar to IVF in order to stimulate follicle growth
  • 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

Female Patient’s Age:

  • Female patients under the age of 35 have higher success rates with IUI than those over the age of 35.

Cost:

  • The IUI cycle, including follicle monitoring, the procedure and medication is overall less costly than an IVF cycle.

About IVF Treatment

Causes of Infertility:

  • Dysfunction of the fallopian tubes
  • Unexplained infertility (combined with failed IUI cycles)
  • Recurrent pregnancy loss (miscarriage)
  • Severe male infertility

Complexity of Procedure:

  • Unless undergoing a natural cycle IVF, medication is administered throughout the cycle similar to IUI in order to stimulate follicle growth
  • IVF requires two procedures to complete the cycle. The first is the egg retrieval which is completed while you are under light IV sedation in the office. The second procedure is the embryo transfer and is a quick procedure completed while you are fully awake and alert in the office.

Female Patient’s Age:

  • IVF is a better choice than IUI for female patients that are over the age of 35 in terms of the success rate of the cycle.

Cost:

  • The IVF cycle is more complex than the IUI cycle and therefore is more costly when compared to one IUI cycle.

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 SIRM St. Louis fertility doctor. We look forward helping you every step of the way on your journey to deliver a baby.