What is the difference between Intrauterine Insemination and In Vitro Fertilization Treatment?

Assisted reproduction can mean a lot of things. There are many different treatments that can be done for both women and men to help with any fertility struggles that emerge. There are two treatment options that can be somewhat confusing to differentiate. These are intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in-vitro fertilization treatment (IVF).

Both of these treatment options involve a process to help with fertility issues. In vitro fertilization treatment is perhaps more well-known among the general population as a popular choice to aid in fertility. However, there are many other options, including IUI, which can also help with the desired end result: adding a beautiful new baby to the world.

In Vitro Fertilization Treatment

IVF is a fertility treatment that assists a woman in getting pregnant. This is done through a process that helps stimulate her ovaries, collect her eggs (oocytes), fertilize them, and transfer the resulting embryos back in the uterus. IVF has five main steps to achieve pregnancy.

The first step in the process is similar to the first step in many fertility treatments: testing. There will be a series of diagnostic tests that will need to be done in order to understand exactly where the person is health-wise and how the treatment can best help them. After the test results are reviewed–and if the woman potentially has eggs that could be successful–there will be a process of stimulating the ovaries to potentially have many eggs produced.

Once it is time, the eggs will be retrieved from the ovaries and will be fertilized while away from the body. This is done in a laboratory with the hopeful result of an embryo being made. This embryo is then transferred into the woman’s uterus, and a pregnancy test will reveal if the implantation was successful.

Intrauterine Insemination

Now that you know that in vitro fertilization involves fertilizing an egg in a laboratory and transferring the resulting embryo  back into the uterus, you may wonder how intrauterine insemination is different.

Intrauterine insemination is a treatment where the sperm is not used in the laboratory, but instead is inserted into the uterus during the time when the woman is ovulating. This is done in hopes of giving the sperm a shorter travel time to its destination. This can be done whether you are using a donor sperm or not. This can be an option used for couples where the male partner has a relatively low sperm count or other types of sexual dysfunction.

Having intrauterine insemination means raising the chances that the sperm will get close enough to the waiting egg to hopefully fertilize and produce an embryo. A key part of intrauterine insemination is identifying the perfect time of ovulation for the sperm to be inserted. This is done with careful planning as well as the all-important testing phase of the process.

When deciding whether to get IVF or intrauterine insemination treatment, it is best to discuss all options with a professional. They will need to do a full assessment on you and any potential partner to see which treatment will be the most ideal for your specific situation.