Thanks to in vitro fertilization (IVF), the Center for Assisted Reproduction has helped countless people in the Fort Worth, TX area build families and experience the joys of parenthood. Yet IVF isn’t the only treatment option out there. Many patients come to our practice for artificial insemination, which is currently known as intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Dr. Kathleen Doody, Dr. Kevin Doody, and their entire team are committed to helping patients achieve their goals when it comes to building families and reaching an ideal family size. Let’s take a moment to consider why IUI may be tried before IVF, and why some patients eventually make the switch from IUI to IVF.
Why Some Patients Try IUI Before IVF
IUI is much more affordable than IVF treatment, but that’s a given when you consider the nature of the two respective procedures. (We’ll get to the IVF procedure in a little bit below.)
During IUI, sperm is introduced into the uterus so it can travel to the fallopian tubes to fertilize a waiting egg. While sperm washing and fertility drugs may be used as part of the procedure, it is a relatively simple process.
Success Rates of IUI
The success rate of IUI is as high as 20 percent according to the American Pregnancy Association. That’s not that high. For comparison, attempting to conceive normally has a 20 to 25 percent success rate for average couples.
Still, 20 percent success is not a bad boost in potential pregnancy rates, especially if a couple has been struggling for months (if not longer) to conceive.
Why IUI May Not Be Successful
The key reason that IUI may not be successful is that there are many variables outside of a fertility doctor’s control. While we may use fertility drugs and other procedures at our Fort Worth clinic as a means of boosting potential success, the actual moment of fertilization is not guaranteed.
How IVF Differs from IUI
IVF involves fewer variables out of our control. Rather than injecting sperm into the uterus, IVF involves taking viable eggs from a woman and combining it with sperm in a lab. Fertilization is ensured before the treatment can move forward. As the egg divides following fertilization, it is placed into the uterus at an optimal time to increase the chances of successful pregnancy.
In short, the lab setting allows fertility doctors to control the process and increase the chances of success.
The Success Rates of IVF
The success rates of IVF can vary from patient to patient based on age and other factors. One estimate from WebMD put the success rate for IVF as high as 29.4 percent. That’s higher than IUI, and in some cases, patients who’ve been through failed IUI cycles have then turned to IVF for their needs.
When Should I Consider IVF After Failed IUI?
There is no set answer for this. Some couples may have bad luck during one IUI cycle only to have better luck the next IUI cycle. Similarly, IVF may be more likely to yield success than IUI based on the numbers, but it is no guarantee of pregnancy either.
During the consultation process, we can help you decide on sticking with IUI or trying IVF instead. We’ll make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed choice.
Learn More About Fertility Treatment
If you live in Fort Worth and would like more information about IUI and IVF, be sure to contact our skilled team of fertility specialists. The team at the Center for Assisted Reproduction is here to help. You can reach our practice by phone at (972) 661-9544.