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Intrauterine Insemination Versus In Vitro Fertilization

written by: DJHall • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 10/21/2008

In vitro fertilization gives a higher success rate for pregnancy, as compared to intrauterine insemination. IVF can be done with donor eggs or with donor sperm. Recent studies have shown that IVF is more successful if the embryos are transferred by using ultrasound.

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    Intrauterine Insemination Versus In Vitro Fertilization

    Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the process of putting male sperm inside a woman’s womb (uterus) while she is ovulating. This is done with a flexible, thin catheter that is put into the vagina through the cervix and in the uterus. Sometimes IUI is referred to as (AI) artificial insemination. AI is the process of placing the sperm in the woman’s vagina or cervix while she is ovulating. The sperm then go up the fallopian tubes to hopefully fertilize an egg. This technique is often used when the male partner has mild to moderate sperm abnormalities that result in infertility. Usually, the woman will undergo ovarian stimulation, using medication to increase the number available eggs. Intrauterine insemination or artificial insemination can be used when tests show no cause for the couples' infertility, the man releases semen and sperm into the bladder instead of out of the penis (retrograde ejaculate), the sperm are absent, poor quality or low in count, or there are problems with the woman’s cervix which prevent the sperm from going through it.

     

    In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the process of putting both the eggs and sperm together in a laboratory data glass dish and allowing the sperm to fertilize an egg. If the woman’s fallopian tubes are damaged or the male sperm is poor, this is the usual method. The eggs are fertilized by the sperm, embryos are produced and then they are put in the uterus 2 – 5 days later. IVF achieves successful pregnancies even in women with desperately damaged fallopian tubes and also in unexplained infertility. In vitro fertilization is the most commonly used technique for assisting with reproduction and it is the only option when the fallopian tubes are missing or blocked, if the woman has extreme endometriosis, the man has low sperm count, unexplained fertility, or if a couple need to test for inherited disorders before transfer of embryos. In vitro fertilization gives a higher success rate for pregnancy, as compared to intrauterine insemination. IVF can be done with donor eggs or with donor sperm. Since aging affects the woman’s egg supply, many women over the age of 40 choose to use donor eggs to improve the chance of having a healthy baby.

     

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that success rates are reported in a variety of ways but the statistical data can be hard to interpret, which makes reporting information about the success rates of assisted reproductive technology (ART) a complicated undertaking. Recent studies have shown that IVF is more successful if the embryos are transferred by using ultrasound, instead of the traditional touch method. The clinical touch method is thought of as a blind technique as it relies on the clinician’s touch in guiding the catheter to the right position and then injecting the embryos. The ultrasound guided technique embryo transfer (UGET) makes it easier for the clinician to verify that the catheter is in the right location before releasing the embryos. Experts support these new findings and suggest that women ask for the UGET approach.

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