IUI vs. IVF: Which Fertility Treatment is Right for You

Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Dr. Daniel Williams, a reproductive endocrinologist and Medical Director with the Houston Fertility Institute.

Hit the Highlights
  • What is an intrauterine insemination (IUI)? What is an intracervical insemination (ICI)?
  • How does an IUI differ from in vitro fertilization (IVF)?
  • What is the difference between a medicated IUI cycle versus a natural IUI?
  • What medication is used for a medicated intrauterine insemination?
  • What are the risks of twins or higher order multiples with unmedicated IUI vs medicated IUI?
  • When should you consider converting an IUI cycle to an IVF cycle?
  • How fresh does the semen have to be?
  • How is the sperm prepared when doing an IUI or ICI?
  • What is sperm washing?
  • How does sperm washing/”swim-up test” work? Why might someone with a normal semen analysis not qualify for IUI?
  • Is sperm aspiration following a vasectomy a viable choice for IUI?
  • What are the chances of success with an IUI? With an ICI?
  • Timing of an IUI? With male factor infertility versus non male factor?
  • Is it better to do one or two IUI for the same month? Which one has the best pregnancy results?
  • How long will sperm live after an IUI?
  • How long will an egg be viable after it is released?
  • What is the best way to determine ovulation?
  • How long should a man abstain from ejaculation before giving a sample for an IUI?
  • How do you decide whether to try an IUI versus going straight to IVF?
  • Is there important diagnosis information that can be gained from IVF which would not be available from an IUI cycle?
  • What type of infertility is best treated by IUI?
  • How does insurance coverage play into the decision between IUI and IVF?
  • Does an IUI make sense when the sperm is normal?
  • How much does a typical unmedicated IUI cost? How much does a medicated IUI cost?
  • Will insurance typically cover IUIs?
  • What type of monitoring is typically done after an IUI cycle?
  • What are the risks associated with an IUI?
  • How many IUIs should you try before moving to in vitro fertilization?

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Image credit: Christopher Carfi