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IUI vs. IVF vs. IVI & ICI: A Look at Costs, Success Rates & More

IUI vs. IVF vs. IVI

Trying to conceive (TTC) can be an overwhelming journey, and understanding the differences between intravaginal insemination (IVI) (also called ICI, or home insemination), intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be confusing. To help you make an informed decision, it is important to understand the basics of each of these procedures.IVI is a simpler procedure than IUI and IVF. It involves placing sperm inside the vagina near the cervix in order to increase the chances of fertilizing an egg. IUI involves depositing a concentrated amount of sperm directly into the uterus using a catheter during a woman’s fertile period. IVF involves fertilizing an egg outside of the body, in a laboratory setting, and then placing it into the uterus.When it comes to selecting the right procedure for you, it is important to discuss all of your options with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to provide more information and individualized advice based on your unique situation. Additionally, reputable sources such as the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) can provide further information.Ultimately, it is important to take the time to understand the different fertility treatment options and to consult your doctor to determine the best course of action for you.

What are the different methods of artificial insemination?

Artificial insemination (AI) is a procedure where sperm is introduced to a person’s uterus, cervix, or vagina without engaging in sexual intercourse. There are two popular forms of AI: Intravaginal Insemination (IVI) and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). IVI, also called ICI, involves the delivery of sperm directly into the female reproductive tract, at or near the cervical opening located inside the vagina; it can be performed at home or at a doctor's office. IUI, on the other hand, is a medical procedure that is performed by a professional and involves placing the sperm directly inside the uterus. It is usually done in combination with ovulation inducing and stimulating drugs, and is typically monitored with blood tests and vaginal ultrasounds. Additionally, the sperm sample needs to be processed or “washed” before being released into the uterus with a catheter. Comparing the procedures of IVI, IUI and IVF Intravaginal insemination (IVI), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), and in vitro fertilization (IVF) are three fertility treatments designed to help people conceive. IVI is a do-it-yourself process done at home with a syringe, while IUI and IVF are medical procedures done by a doctor in a fertility clinic or surgery center. With IVI and IUI, sperm is introduced into the reproductive tract, while with IVF, the egg and sperm are combined in the laboratory and then the fertilized eggs are transferred into the uterus. IVF requires a person with a uterus and ovaries to take injectable hormones for several weeks, so that several eggs mature simultaneously. The eggs are either combined with “washed sperm” or each egg is injected with one carefully selected sperm in a process called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI). After the eggs fertilize, one or more of the healthy embryos are transferred into the uterus. Alternatively, the embryos may be frozen for transfer at a later date. Advantages & Disadvantage analysis of IVI vs. IUI vs. IUI Intravaginal Insemination (IVI) is the simplest and least expensive of the three fertility techniques. Depending on the laws in your area, it may be the only procedure that can be done without medical intervention. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most invasive and expensive option, although it may be the only feasible option in cases such as when a person's fallopian tubes are tied, burned, damaged, or removed, or if a male partner is unable to produce enough sperm through ejaculation. IUI is typically the first doctor-assisted insemination procedure attempted; a full assessment will be conducted to determine why conception is being difficult. IVI can be done at home or with fertility drugs under the guidance of a physician. If working with a known sperm donor, it is recommended that one does their own screening for STDs, infectious diseases, and sperm health. Those with cervical issues, severe endometriosis that hasn’t responded to treatment, or those who have not achieved success with other less invasive interventions may benefit from IVF. It is advisable to use the least expensive and least invasive methods first before trying other options, as all three may require multiple attempts. Comparing the costs of IUI, IVF and IVI The cost of an IUI or IVF cycle varies depending on whether or not insurance covers the medical fertility procedure. Additionally, laboratory and medical fees often have to be taken into account, and these may not be covered. For those paying out of pocket, the typical cost of an IUI procedure is between $400 and $3,000 (not including any medications required). An IVF cycle without insurance costs between $10,000 and $50,000 with the medications required costing an additional $1,500 - $4,000 per cycle. Certain fertility clinics offer package deals that include more than one attempt in their pricing, and additional fees may apply for procedures such as preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A). As such, the average cost for an IVF patient not covered by insurance is estimated between $30,000 - $60,000. Many individuals shop around for the most affordable IVF options, and some even travel to other countries for treatment. Intravaginal Insemination (IVI) done at home requires the purchase of an insemination kit, which which is about $100 dollars. Comparing the typical success rates of IUI, IVF and IVI When considering success rates, it is important to keep in mind that they are only an average, and that individual variables such as age, fertility medication use and any underlying medical conditions will affect the individual success rate. According to a study published in the journal Human Reproduction, the success rate of sperm deposited near the cervical canal is 37.9% after 6 cycles, while the success rate of intrauterine insemination (IUI) is 40.5%. For those under the age of 35, the success rate is 10-20% per attempt, for those aged 35-40 it is 5%, and for those aged over 40 the success rate is 2-5%. The use of fertility drugs in combination with IUI may improve success rates, and the best chance of success is typically within the first 3-5 attempts. For in vitro fertilization (IVF), success rates vary according to age; for those under 35 the success rate is nearly 40%, and for those over 40 it is 12-15%. For comparison, the average success rate for IVI, ICI and natural intercourse is 15-20% per month. It is important to remember that everyone is unique and there is no single solution that fits all. We hope that this information has been useful, and we wish you success in your journey to conceive. Please do not hesitate to contact us if there is any way we can help support you.


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