Fertility Blog

When Is It Time To Transition From IUI to IVF?

When roadblocks to fertility appear, it can be challenging to know where to begin. IUI, also known as intrauterine insemination, is a common first option in an individual’s journey. IUI is popular amongst women with endometriosis, irregular cycles, or other fertility challenges. Sperm is deposited into the uterus via a catheter, getting the sperm closer to the egg and allowing for easier fertilization. Conceiving via IUI is a more cost-effective, faster procedure than other fertility treatments. But if you are still unable to conceive using this method, what alternatives could work better?

It is certainly disappointing to accept that IUI may not be the right approach for you, and you should take the time to honor your feelings. When you’re ready to embark on the next step in your fertility journey, you can start by discussing in vitro fertilization {IVF} with your doctor. According to the CDC, IVF is the most effective method of assisted reproduction, and is becoming more common every year. Despite its popularity, IVF can be a demanding medical process. Depending on your medical history and your expectations about starting a family, IVF may be the best path for you.

Women Over the Age of 35

For women, fertility begins to decline dramatically after the age of 35. Egg quantity drops drastically, and there become fewer viable eggs. IVF is often recommended for this age group. Because IVF involves fertility medications and extracting multiple eggs at once, it makes it far more likely for a woman over 35 to get a healthy, viable egg that will have a greater chance of leading to a successful pregnancy.

Fallopian Tube-Related Infertility

When the fallopian tubes are scarred, blocked, or otherwise damaged, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy pregnancy. IVF avoids the use of fallopian tubes during treatment, so this would be an effective option compared to fertility treatments or artificial insemination.

Male Factor Infertility

Although the so-called biological clock is usually applied to women and age, fertility also begins to decline for men as they get older, especially after the age of 35. As men age, the quality of their sperm is more likely to be low. The testes may continue to produce sperm, but at a slower rate and with a higher degree of malformations, abnormalities, and motility issues.

While age is an important factor in male fertility, infertility can also happen in otherwise healthy young men. Whatever the case, IVF is often recommended as a course of treatment for male patients who are experiencing infertility. Part of the IVF process involves producing a semen sample consisting of only healthy sperm, making it more likely for fertilization of the egg to occurs

When Using Donor Eggs

Candidates for egg donation are typically unable to conceive with their own eggs due to age or reproductive conditions. Women over 40, those with low ovarian reserve, as well as women who suffer from conditions like endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome can all benefit from egg donation as a treatment process. Because egg donation involves the use of a third party’s eggs (rather than the patients), IVF is a necessary procedure.

If you have not found success with IUI and are ready to speak to a specialist about transitioning to IVF, contact Washington Fertility Center today!