IUI Vs IVF, What’s The Difference?


Unfortunately for many couples globally, infertility means their chances of starting a family are slim at best. Or at least that was the case before scientific developments mean we can now aid the process, giving more people the family they’ve always dreamed about having.

Everybody’s circumstances are different so different approaches to infertility have been developed, and two of the most popular are IUI and IVF.

Is IVF better than IUI?

With different methods to choose from, it makes sense to ask which approach is better. However, there is no single answer to the question because each method has its pros and cons and is more or less suited to different circumstances.

As such, this article asks what is IVF, how it compares to IUI, and which circumstances they are best suited for.

What is IVF?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves fertilizing an egg outside of the body and then implanting it into the womb where it will hopefully develop. There are different varieties of IVF, and which is best for you will depend on your circumstances.

IVF involves removing eggs and sperm from the body, which generally involves invasive procedures that are thankfully not too painful. Medication is also used that can cause some unwelcome side effects.

What is IUI?

Intrauterine insemination IUI is a simpler and less intrusive approach in which it’s not necessary to remove eggs from the body first. Instead, sperm is injected directly into the womb through the cervix where it will hopefully find the egg and fertilize it. 

IUI tends to be used in cases of male infertility as it helps healthy sperm to reach the egg. The sperm is often extracted through masturbation and is processed before inserting it into the womb. The processed semen will have less seminal fluid and a higher concentration of healthy sperm.

What are the Disadvantages of IUI?

IUI is an effective fertility practice that has helped countless people start their own families. But there are some disadvantages, which include the following:

  • Discomfort: IUI involves inserting a tube through the cervix and into the womb. This process can cause some discomfort, although patients undergoing IVF can also experience similar symptoms. IUI medication can also cause unwelcome side effects.
  • Suitability: As mentioned, IUI is most often used in cases of male infertility. However, the process is reliant on the female’s reproductive system also being healthy and producing healthy eggs. As such, some couples may need to use IVF or other alternatives instead.
  • Multiple Pregnancies: IUI involves the use of medication that encourages the ovaries to produce more eggs than usual. This is to help increase the chances of one being fertilized, but it also increases the chances that more than one egg is fertilized. As such, IUI increases your chances of falling pregnant with twins or even triplets.

Why do people choose IUI over IVF?

People choose IUI over IVF for various reasons, including:

  • Diagnosis: As mentioned, IUI is usually used when the male partner has fertility issues. In such cases, IUI is used because it presents the best chances of success. 
  • Cost: IUI is a much simpler process than IVF, helping to make it considerably more affordable. The lower cost makes IUI more appealing to countless couples with a limited budget.
  • Less Inconvenience: Because IUI is simpler than IVF, the approach is less inconvenient. However, you will still need to attend the clinic for treatment and consultations so you might need to plan ahead accordingly.

Is IUI 100% Successful?

Unfortunately, IUI is not 100% successful, and the same can be said for IVF. Age is one of the biggest factors and women generally start losing fertility in their mid-thirties, but every patient is different.

If you want to increase your chances of falling pregnant then it’s best to keep yourself reasonably healthy, regardless of the methods used. This involves eating a balanced diet of fresh foods so you have the full range of nutrition your body needs. Exercise will also give you a better chance of getting the results you want.


If you have any questions regarding fertility treatments then get in touch and we will be delighted to help. Our team looks forward to hearing from you and learning how we can help you achieve your dream of having a baby.