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IVF vs IUI: What’s The Difference?

Two of the most popular and demanded fertility treatments are In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). It’s common for patients to get a little confused about what each one involves and how they are different from one another. 

What Is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) And How Does It Work?

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a type of artificial insemination that involves depositing the sperm directly into the uterus. The patient is subjected to mild ovarian stimulation; then the sperm swim towards the fallopian tubes, where fertilization occurs. There is the possibility of using donated semen for single mothers and lesbian couples. IUI is one of the least complex methods and one of the first that couples turn to when looking for fertility treatment options.



Who Is A Good Candidate For Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?

An anti-inflammatory diet is fundamental in IVF success, meaning that before and during the treatment it is ideal to minimize the intake of processed foods, fast foods, fried foods, and sugar. Some of the most beneficial foods to aid the implantation process are:   

  • Women suffering from ovulation problems, endometriosis, or vaginal mucosa complications.
  • Men with low sperm concentration.
  • Men or women with unexplained fertility.
  • LGBT couples.
  • Individuals or couples planning to use sperm from a donor.

What Is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) And How Does It Work?

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a type of assisted reproduction procedure where, unlike intrauterine insemination (where fertilization takes place directly in the woman’s reproductive system), fertilization takes place outside the woman’s body, in a laboratory, with sperm from the partner or a donor. As a result of fertilization, the best quality embryo is selected and transferred to the uterus so that the mother can achieve pregnancy.

Who Is A Good Candidate For In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?

  • Woman with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
  • Blocked fallopian tubes.
  • Woman with ovulation disorders.
  • Men that went through vasectomy.
  • Woman that went through a tubal ligation.  


You May Also Like: Foods That Help In Your IVF Treatment 


Now that you identify the differences between both procedures, how they work, and who the candidates are, we will explain the process of IUI and IVF, step by step.  

How Is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) Performed?

  • The patient lies on a table and places her feet in stirrups.
  • The specialists will insert a speculum into the vagina to dilate it and be able to visualize the cervix.
  • An injection of gonadotropin hormone is given to release the eggs.
  • A flexible catheter is inserted through the cervix to reach it. 
  • The prepared semen sample is injected through the catheter. 
  • After injecting the sample and removing the speculum, the patient will lie on her back for between ten and twenty minutes for the patient to rest and the sperm ascent. 



How Is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?

  • Ovarian Stimulation. It consists of applying different medications to stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. This is needed because not all of the eggs will be fertilized.
  • Egg Retrieval. Known as follicular aspiration, it involves the obtaining of the eggs through a surgical procedure that is actually simple; once retrieved, they are reviewed and prepared for the fertilization process.  
  • Fertilization. There are two methods to attempt fertilization; one is the Conventional Insemination, where sperm and eggs are mixed and incubated. The second method is the Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection, known as “ICSI,” where a single and healthy sperm is injected into each mature egg.
  • Embryo Culture. A special and unique environment is created for the culture of embryos; the fertilized eggs will grow in the laboratory before transferring them into the uterus.
  • Transfer. This is the last step of the procedure; the embryos are placed in the uterus. Commonly, two or more are transferred, hoping that at least one of them will develop. Sometimes more than one embryo ends up implanting, so the number of embryos must be discussed with your specialists. 




IUI vs IVF: Success Rates

While IUI success rate is between 15% to 20% per cycle, IVF success rate is between 65 – 95%. Both success rates can be affected by various factors, such as age and pre existing medical conditions. Usually, IUI works great with patients with good overall health with few fertility problems, while IVF is recommended for patients with moderate to complicated cases.


IUI vs IVF: Which Procedure Is Right For Me?

An accurate diagnosis is the first step to a successful journey. Usually:

  • IUI is suggested if you have unexplained fertility or your partner has mild male factor infertility. 
  • IVF is suggested if you or your partner have conditions such as blocked fallopian tubes due to tubal ligation, PCOS, or ovulation disorders.
  • If you went through unsuccessful rounds of IUI, then In Vitro Fertilization might be recommended

Our fertility specialists Mexico can help determine which one is best for you according to your specific situation, taking into consideration your age, health conditions, family health history, and personal health.


Dr. Luis Ruvalcaba and Dr. Jesús Félix, our fertility specialist at The Fertility Center.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) In Tijuana: How Much Does It Cost?

Tijuana receives more than 2.5 million tourists, mainly from the United States who are looking for medical procedures in state of the art facilities with the latest technology and skilled specialists at much lower prices. At The Fertility Center, the cost of IVF in Mexico is 70% cheaper in comparison to the USA prices.

If you are trying to conceive and feel overwhelmed by all of the medical terminologies, don’t worry, we’re here to explain the difference between some of the most popular fertility treatments. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help you achieve your dream of starting a family.

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Dr. Jesús Alberto Félix Atondo

Gynecology, Obstetrics and Biology of Human Reproduction Surgeon at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, specialist Biologist of Human Reproduction by the Mexican Institute of Infertility.

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