IUI Vs IVF success rate

After not being successful in getting pregnant for a long time, couples usually turn to the use of assisted reproductive technologies like IVF. However, there are different methods that follow the same goal but they may work for certain types of patients with different costs. In this article, we are going to discuss IUI vs IVF and see what their success rate are.


What is IUI?


Intrauterine insemination or “IUI” for short is a kind of fertility treatment, which is minimally invasive and is almost a simple procedure. In this method, the most viable sperm sample is placed into the uterus in proximity to the egg, so that the chance of insemination goes higher.

Taking fertility medications increases the production of mature eggs and as the result, it can enhance the chance of conception. Fertility doctors monitor the patient’s health through ultrasound and blood tests while she is taking the medications.

Intrauterine insemination is a suitable treatment for couples who have male reproductive problems like the low quality of sperm, or a low number of motile sperms. If the total number of motile sperm is less than 5 million, the chance of pregnancy with IUI is low, because a low number of sperms or low motility often means that there are some issues with the biochemical and molecular ability. In this case, the use of in vitro fertilization (IVF) along with intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is the better choice.



IUI can be effective for…

  • Infertility caused by ovulation problems
  • Mild male factor infertility
  • Mild endometriosis problem
  • Unexplained infertility

IUI cannot be effective with …

  • Blockage of fallopian tubes
  • Severe male factor infertility
  • Severe endometriosis
  • Severe pelvic scarring

How is IUI done?

As mentioned above, before starting the procedure the female patient should start using medications to increase the number of her eggs in that cycle. The fertility clinic monitors her health during this period. The procedure happens during the patient’s next ovulation days.

A sperm sample should be collected from the male partner or a donor usually on the same day of the procedure. Then the sperm sample is washed and purified to remove the other chemicals that may cause the fertilization problem and as the result, it enhances the quality of semen. Then sperm is injected into the uterine cavity through the vagina by the use of a sterile catheter. IUI procedure is a relatively quick and painless treatment similar to Pap smear.

Twins born trough ivf

IUI Success Rates

The IUI success rate depends on various factors. If we consider IUI success among all the patients, the success rate would be between 5-15 percent per cycle. However, the reported success rate can vary in different cases. The IUI success rate among women over 40 is about 1-4 %, which is not a noticeable success rate. Women over 40 often try the IVF process quicker than younger patients.

IUI success rate for women with endometriosis is 6.5 % per cycle and 15.3 % for those with unexplained infertility. The pregnancy rate of IUI without using drugs is about 2% while with the use of injectable and IUI, the success rate is about 11%. Repetition of cycles is also an important factor for IUI success. The more you undergo the IUI procedure, the higher the chance of pregnancy. Most IUI successful pregnancies happen after 3-4 attempts.

What is IVF?

IUI Vs IVF success rate

In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common method of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that has helped so many couples have children. In this process, fertilization happens in vitro (in glass) in a laboratory environment. The resulted embryo can be implanted into the biological mother’s womb or a surrogate.

In 1978, the first IVF baby was successfully born in England. IVF can help women who have passed their reproductive age or reached menopause or those who do not have fallopian tubes get pregnant and have their own child. IVF technology also helps fertilization in couples who have male factor infertility.


IVF is a good option for candidates who experience the below problems:

  • Endometriosis
  • Difficulty in getting pregnant through regular intercourse
  • Blocked or missing fallopian tubes
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Male factor infertility
  • Severe pelvic inflammation
  • Irregular ovulation cycle
  • Using donor eggs or inability to produce eggs
  • History of genetic disease and necessity of genetic control


IVF may not be a good option for women who have …

  • fibroid tumors
  • ovarian dysfunction
  • abnormal hormone levels
  • uterine abnormalities

How is IVF done?

In this method, female patients need to use injections and other kinds of medicines to have more mature eggs in their cycle. After the eggs are fully matured, the related physician retrieves the eggs through the vagina while you are under light anesthesia. On the same day, the male partner or a donor provides a semen sample; then the sperm is separated from the semen fluid and be washed so that the quality of sperm is increased.

In the laboratory, the embryologist does the preparations so that the insemination happens. After 2-6 days, the resulted embryos are examined based on their quality, and the highest-quality embryo (s) are transferred to the uterus. Finally, after about two weeks if the blood test shows a positive pregnancy then the result is achieved.

IVF Success Rates

IVF success rate depends on different factors like age, ovarian reserve, fallopian tubes condition, lifestyle, etc. The younger the woman is, the higher the success rate can be especially among women under 35. Although calculating the exact success rate is complicated, approximate data is gathered here based on the age of women:

  • 9 % for women under the age of 35
  • 26 to 40.2 % for women between 35-40
  • 9 to 12.6 % for women age 41 and above that

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$13500 This package needs more consultation
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Package C

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IUI injectable Vs IVF –What is the Difference?

It is often recommended to undergo IVF after three failed IUI attempts. However, it highly depends on the infertility reason; if the reason is due to the lack of ovulation, or you are under 30 with enough ovarian reserve, you may try a few more attempts. If the woman is 40 or older or she has a low ovarian reserve, she may need to try IVF quicker. Therefore, it can be said that IVF is the next step of IUI. Another important factor in deciding about the method is the costs of treatment. Because of the much simpler procedure of IUI treatment, it is cheaper than IVF treatment.

In the IUI procedure, so many of the steps are left to nature, because the sperm must swim to the end of the fallopian tube, find the egg and fertilize the egg.  These steps are done in IVF in a simpler way; for instance, with the use of ICSI technology, sperm penetration to the egg can be forced. Thus, the success rate of IUI is much lower than IVF.

If you are struggling to conceive, it is essential to visit an expert physician, find out about your options, and decide which reproductive technology is the best for you. If you are interested to peruse your treatments abroad, Iran could be one of the best choices in terms of quality of medical services, professional physicians, and the most economical costs. Our fertility team in Iran will explain to you all of your options in detail, including their pros and cons, success rate, needed time, and costs. Then you can decide whether IUI or IVF is the best option for you.

Author: Leila Nazari

Publisher and SEO specialist: Mohamad Gerami

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