When it comes to building your family, not all fertility treatments are created equal. Assisted reproductive technology (ART) has come a long way since the first successful birth 40 years ago, and two of the most common – and most confused – procedures are intrauterine insemination (IUI) and the more commonly referenced in vitro fertilization (IVF). We’ll break down the process, as well as the pros and cons, for both.
The difference between IUI and IVF is actually quite broad – in fact, there are few similarities between them other than the end goal of a pregnancy.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) utilizes a catheter to transfer sperm – either the intended father’s or a donor’s – directly into the intended mother’s uterus. The process can technically be done with a surrogate, but this is rare because it would make her the biological mother. It can be done without medication, though fertility drugs like Gonadotropin or clomiphene are often used to induce ovulation and increase the number of eggs available.
Monitoring is done in the days leading up to the IUI to confirm the eggs have matured. A semen sample is provided so that it can be washed, separating the semen from the seminal fluid to maximize the number of sperm cells available for fertilization.
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is more complex than IUI. The intended mother’s eggs or a donor’s eggs are retrieved from her ovaries, combined with the intended father’s or donor’s sperm in a lab, and the resulting embryos are then transferred to the intended mother’s or a surrogate’s uterus.
Without question, the success rate of IVF is what makes it the most popular form of assisted reproduction. Under the IVF umbrella fall egg donation and gestational surrogacy as well, which makes it an even more sought-after means of family building.
We know that you likely have many questions about what is the best option for you, and we’re here to assist. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help you navigate the world of ART.