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What’s the Difference Between an IUI and IVF Procedure?

What is an IUI Procedure?

An intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a procedure where sperm cells are injected directly into the uterus to increase the odds of pregnancy. Before an IUI can be administered, the female partner must take injectible or oral fertility medications to stimulate the ovaries and prepare them for conception. 

Hopeful couples who undergo an IUI procedure typically do so when their fertility problems are unknown or if the male partner is experiencing reproductive issues. For example, a low sperm count or poor sperm health can result in the need for an IUI to bypass sexual intercourse and inseminate the female partner with a potent sperm sample to increase the odds of a successful pregnancy.

In fact, women between the ages of 20 and 30 have roughly a 20% success rate of getting pregnant using a combination of fertility medications and an IUI procedure.

However, if a female partner is beyond that age range, the likelihood of pregnancy takes a significant drop. Studies show that the best success rates come from attempting at least 3 IUI cycles when pursuing fertility treatments for the first time. Although if each round offers no solution, than an IVF procedure may be the next best option. 

What is an IVF Procedure?

An in vitro fertilization (IVF) is an advanced procedure where several female eggs are extracted from the ovaries and are fertilized with a sperm sample inside of a controlled environment until healthy embryos are developed. Once the embryos are ready, they are transferred back into the uterus for implantation. During the entire process, the female partner will take various hormone medications to stimulate multiple egg releases, as well as follicle enhancement to increase the odds of impregnation once the embryos are inserted.

The entire procedure is done in-house at a fertility clinic and couples can choose to freeze any remaining embryos in case an IVF cycle is unsuccessful. 

IVF procedures have proven to be a highly effective option for couples struggling with infertility. In 2015, women under the age of 35 had over a 40% chance of having a successful pregnancy, and even women in their early 40s had substantial success rates just under 20%. However, age is just one of the parameters that must be considered when trying to calculate the odds of an effective IVF.

Other reproductive issues or health concerns, such as uterine fibroids, ovarian dysfunction, or a history of infertility for both partners can prevent an IVF procedure from working. Nonetheless, it is the best alternative that couples have aside from pursuing other fertility options, like surrogacy or adoption. 

How do IUI and IVF Procedures Differ in Cost?

When comparing the prices of an IUI and IVF procedure for an individual cycle, the total cost of an IVF surpasses that of an IUI by a significant amount. 

Potential Cost of an IUI

Typically, IUI procedures cost less due to it being less invasive. The male partner contributes a sperm sample, which is then injected into the uterus. In this process, no incisions are required, and hopeful couples will primarily pay for various medications, bloodwork, consultations, and then the procedure itself. On average, couples can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1000 for an IUI without the help of insurance. An IUI can potentially become more expensive if multiple cycles are needed, but couples who find success with an IUI will usually save more money than those who require an IVF. 

Potential Cost of an IVF

Couples who require an IVF procedure will pay significantly higher prices for their treatment since it requires more advanced techniques and equipment. For instance, the female partner must pay for certain medications, bloodwork, consultations, the extraction procedure, the fertilization, the incubation period, the implantation, and then egg freezing in case a cycle is unsuccessful.

Depending on what state you live in, the final price may also fluctuate since some states, like CA and NY, have a higher demand for fertility treatments, which results in more competitive rates. With consideration to all of these factors, hopeful couples can expect to pay anywhere from $12,000 to $15,000 for a single cycle.

Of course, this price point will increase with each additional attempt, but those who are planning on pursuing an IVF procedure should try their best to gain valuable insight and maximize the success of their first attempt to avoid any exorbitant costs. 

Learn More about IUI and IVF Procedures with Laurel Fertility Care

Being new to fertility treatments can certainly be overwhelming, but Laurel Fertility Care is here to answer all of your questions regarding IUI and IVF procedures and how they differ from one another. Whether you have questions about the procedures themselves, the types of medications you’ll be taking, what risk factors are involved, or what the prices for each may be, our team of experts can walk you through each step, inspiring you with a newfound confidence to achieve the family of your dreams. 

At Laurel Fertility Care, our goal is to make your journey to a successful pregnancy as easy as possible, so contact us today and schedule a consultation with a fertility specialist.

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