By far, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most popular fertility treatment available today. It’s what many people think of when they read the phrase “fertility treatment.” Yet there are other options out there to help people become pregnant. Modern artificial insemination is known as intrauterine insemination (IUI), and it’s a relatively popular option for couples struggling with infertility.
Dr. Joseph E. Martin and his team of San Antonio, TX fertility doctors would like to consider the effectiveness of IUI. We’ll then look at when IUI patients should consider IVF following a failed artificial insemination cycle.
Why People May Try IUI Before IVF
IUI may not be as popular or as effective as IVF, but there are two important reasons why some couples turn to this treatment first. IUI is much more affordable than IVF, and less invasive as well. The savings and the general simplicity got IUI makes it a promising proposition for patients. But we must consider the numbers.
The Success Rates of IUI
According to findings by the American Pregnancy Association, IUI has a success rate as high as 20 percent. By comparison, attempting to conceive naturally typically has a success rate of 20-25 percent.
While a 20 percent success rate isn’t much, it’s still an increased chance of success for people who have had no luck with regular attempts to conceive. Keep in mind that the IUI success rate can vary based on the age of the patients, if fertility drugs are used, if sperm washing was involved, and so forth.
How Many IUI Cycles Should I Try Before IVF?
This varies from case to case. Some patients may want to consider IUI another time before trying IVF. In other cases IVF is simply a more ideal fertility treatment to consider after a single failed IUI cycle.
At the Fertility Center of San Antonio, we’ll assess a failed IUI cycle and what factors may have played a role in the outcomes. Based on our analysis of the failed IUI cycle, we can let you know what would be the most sensible course of action.
Advantages of IVF Over IUI
While IVF treatment is more invasive, it does increase the chances of successful pregnancy compared to IVF. The key reason it’s more effective is because fertilization is guaranteed.
During IUI, sperm may be introduced into the uterus, but it is not guaranteed to reach a waiting egg in the fallopian tubes. During IVF, an egg is fertilized in a lab, resulting in a viable embryo. This viable embryo is then transferred to the uterus to implant and be carried to term. Lab fertilization means one less factor out of a fertility doctor’s control.
The Success Rate of IVF
Estimates cited by WebMD put the success rate for IVF at about 29.4 percent. The age of the patient, the use of donor eggs or donor sperm, and a host of other factors can affect that success rate. That said, it is notably higher than the IUI success rate, and is also higher than the success rate for natural conception.
Developing a Fertility Treatment Plan for You
We know that fertility treatment decisions can be difficult. That’s why we want to work with your to create an ideal treatment plan. We will answer all of your questions and address any concerns you have to ensure you undergo the assisted reproduction procedure that’s best suited to you.
Contact the Fertility Center of San Antonio
For more information about IVF, IUI, and other options for overcoming male and female infertility, we encourage you to contact our assisted reproduction and fertility treatment clinic. You can reach our team by phone at (210) 692-0577.