What Is the Difference Between IUI And IVF?

June 23 2023 9:00am

couple listening to doctor

When learning about fertility treatments, you may have heard of IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation) and IUI (Intrauterine Insemination). While they sound similar, they differ in how conception is achieved and their effectiveness. In this post we break down what each involves and their differences.

Intrauterine Insemination

This treatment is typically recommended when the male has a low sperm count, or poor sperm mobility. It reduces the length it must travel as sperm is injected directly into the womb before ovulation, thus increasing the likelihood of an egg and sperm fusing. Prior to this stage the sperm is filtered in a lab to ensure that those are used are of the best quality. Additionally, ovulation can be induced using clomid or injectable FSH (follicle stimulating hormone). 

Other instances where IUI can help with conception include:

  • Trying to get pregnant in a female same sex couple
  • Unexplained infertility
  • The man experiences premature ejaculation
  • Where vaginal intercourse is difficult
  • One partner has a viral infection that can be passed on sexually 
  • The woman has mild endometriosis
  • Single women using donor sperm

In Vitro Fertilisation

With IVF on the other hand, fertilisation takes place in a carefully controlled laboratory. Women undergo hormone therapy which triggers the ovaries to release eggs. These are then collected relatively painlessly and fused with sperm to create embryos. Those of the highest quality are then transferred into the womb in hopes of implantation and pregnancy. 

Where IVF can help with conception include:

  • Unexplained fertility problems
  • Where fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged
  • Where men have low sperm counts, abnormally shaped sperm and movement
  • Where other treatments have been unsuccessful
  • Where the biological clock is reducing the time available to get pregnant

Differences Between IVF and IUI

IUI is less invasive as there is no need for egg retrieval, embryo transfer and hormone therapy is optional. Other than the actual procedure, there’s effectiveness of treatments. While it depends on the individual, IVF involves physically fertilising the eggs whereas IUI increases the likelihood of the two fusing. In terms of price, IUI is cheaper and typically costs a quarter of what you would be expected to pay for a cycle of IVF. 

The likelihood of success for both of course depends on individual circumstances, such as age, cause of infertility, and general health. 

Get in touch with our expert team to learn about your chances and the treatments we provide.


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