Aspire Blog

What is the Difference Between an IUI and IVF?

Posted on April 24th, 2017

Both intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) are fertility treatments used to help a person who is struggling to conceive. The main difference between an IUI and IVF treatments are: IVF is a process involving egg stimulation, retrieval, fertilization, and transfer; whereas, an IUI injects sperm into a uterus to decrease the sperm’s travel time to the egg.

People are often confused about the differences between an IUI and an IVF treatment and the medical terminology for fertility treatments are a learning curve when you first start the process. Learning the acronyms can be overwhelming so let’s break down IUI and IVF to clarify the difference between these fertility treatments.

IVF treatment is a process that consists of five steps including:

  1. pre-cycle diagnostic testing
  2. stimulation of the ovaries to produce several eggs during one cycle,
  3. retrieval of the eggs from each ovary,
  4. fertilization of the eggs in the laboratory via conventional fertilization or ICSI, and then
  5. transfer of the resulting embryos into the uterus.

The chance of pregnancy from IVF heavily depends on the age of the woman, the primary cause of infertility, and also depends on some factors related to the quality of the IVF laboratory.

IUI are a fertility treatment where sperm is inserted directly into a woman’s uterus during ovulation; decreasing the journey for the sperm to the egg. During ovulation, the woman produces one egg that is picked up by the end of the fallopian tube where it waits to meet the sperm. An IUI deposits higher concentrations of good quality sperm close to where the egg is waiting which increases the chances that the egg and sperm will unite.

It is important to ask your provider or nurse if you have any questions about an IUI or IVF. Avoid using Google as a way to get answers because these vary on an individual basis. Reach out to any of our fertility specialists for assistance on your journey. Please contact us and make an appointment at either our Dallas, Austin, McAllen, San Antonio, or Houston clinic locations.


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