IUI Versus IVF: Fertility Treatment Pros and Cons

Posted on June 13, 2018 by NYRW

As a woman dealing with fertility problems, it's good to have a variety of advanced medical options to help you get pregnant. However, there is a downside to having many options: the confusion and stress that comes from trying to choose the right path for you. That's why it's crucial to have an expert fertility doctor at your side to guide you to your best solution to treat infertility. IVF or IUI can both work with minor male factor infertility and/or female infertility due to unknown causes. Both can work with donated sperm and/or eggs, and for LGBTQ couples. Here's how IUI and IVF work, how they differ, and when each is best.

Understanding IUI Infertility Treatment

Often the first-line treatment for infertility, intra-uterine insemination, or IUI, works by helping natural ovulation cycles produce pregnancy--by injecting processed, concentrated sperm directly into the uterus at the right time. This means that more sperm should travel through the fallopian tubes to fertilize an egg for successful conception. As soon as two weeks later, the pregnancy test may be positive. Medications may be used to stimulate ovulation, if necessary.

IUI Pros:

  • An affordable way to begin fertility treatment.
  • Can be quicker than IVF.
  • Can bypass cervical issues such as scarring or thick mucus.
  • Works best in younger women.

IUI Cons:

  • Not an option if both fallopian tubes are blocked.
  • Not typically successful in cases of reduced ovarian reserve or advanced endometriosis.
  • Not recommended in cases of severe male-factor infertility.
  • May not work with frozen sperm, which survives for a shorter time than fresh sperm.

Understanding IVF for Infertility

In-vitro fertilization, or IVF, works by adding hormonal medications to your system to help mature several eggs in each ovulation cycle. Eggs are collected from the ovaries, then fertilized with sperm outside the body, from which embryos may develop. After careful incubation, embryos are transferred into the uterus to produce the pregnancy.

IVF Pros:

  • Can work when other options fail. Typically a next step, following a trial of about 3 IUI cycles.
  • Allows for timing pregnancy as you wish.
  • Can work if fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged.
  • Allows for a possible freezing of extra embryos.

IVF Cons:

  • More expensive than IUI.
  • Involves hormonal medication that may have side effects.
  • Typically involves more doctor visits-- challenging to undergo if you're in transition, such as moving house or if your job requires frequent travel.
  • Perhaps more stress due to longer process.

Which is Best to Help YOU Get Pregnant? Get Personalized Advice

Your pros and cons may differ from those mentioned here, of course. There is no generic fertility treatment protocol at our NY fertility clinic. You will receive expert guidance and customized fertility treatment--designed around you. Make the best choice about IUI vs. IVF. Contact NY Reproductive Wellness, today.



American Society for Reproductive Medicine
College of American Pathologists
Fertile Hope
Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology
Logos Mobile