What is the Difference Between IVF and IUI?
Intrauterine insemination (IUI), also known as artificial insemination, is a fertility treatment in which the egg is fertilized in the woman’s body. With in vitro fertilization (IVF), the eggs are retrieved from the woman’s body and fertilized in a laboratory setting. This is just one of the main differences between these two treatment processes. At Los Angeles Reproductive Center in Encino, CA, and Bakersfield, CA, we discuss the differences between IUI and IVF.
The IUI procedure involves the use of fertility medications to encourage the production of multiple eggs. The doctor will monitor the patient via bloodwork and ultrasound to determine when is the ideal time for ovulation. Prior to ovulation, the patient will take a trigger shot, and then go to the doctor's office for the IUI procedure.
During the final IUI appointment, the male will provide a sperm sample. This sample will be washed to include viable sperm, which will then be used during the IUI procedure. The doctor will use a special device to administer the sperm sample directly into the uterus to increase the chance of successful pregnancy. Once this procedure is complete, patients will wait two weeks to find out if they are pregnant.
The cost of IUI is significantly less than IVF treatment since it doesn't involve the use of a laboratory, cryopreservation, and the additional steps that are involved with in vitro fertilization.
The amount of time it takes for patients to undergo IUI is also significantly less than that required with IVF. There are fewer steps, and the procedure isn’t as invasive, making it a less time-intensive and stressful process for many patients.
The IVF procedure involves several steps. First, the patient begins taking fertility medications to encourage the production of multiple eggs. During this time, we will monitor the patient with bloodwork and ultrasounds on a routine basis to adjust medication as needed and determine the ideal time for ovulation. Prior to ovulation, we will administer a trigger shot, and the patient will come to our office at a specific time for the egg retrieval process.
During the egg retrieval process, our doctors will use a small catheter to remove any eggs that have been released from the follicles. These eggs will then be mixed with sperm in a laboratory setting, under the most ideal conditions, in hopes that they will turn into embryos. After a period of three to five days, the most viable embryos will be placed in the uterus. Any remaining healthy embryos can be cryopreserved for future use.
The IVF procedure costs more than IUI. The IVF portion of the procedure costs between $7,000 and $14,000. In addition, patients must pay for the cost of fertility medications and any initial fertility testing if they don't have health insurance.
Because the IVF procedure requires additional appointments to retrieve the eggs and place the embryos, this procedure does take more time than IUI. It also typically involves more preparatory and other appointments during the process to monitor your progress.
Contact Los Angeles Reproductive Center
For more information on the differences between IUI and IVF, contact Los Angeles Reproductive Center in Encino to schedule a consultation.