Unexplained Infertility: Should You Choose IUI Or IVF?

  • OB/GYN - Women's Health
  • fertility treatment - infertility
  • August 4, 2021

Read Time: 8 minutes With unexplained infertility, often the only option is to seek out a fertility clinic for assisted reproductive tech. Is IUI or IVF best?

No Answer For Your Fertility Woes?

People around the world struggle to understand why getting pregnant seems impossible. But the term unexplained infertility can raise even more questions. Unexplained infertility is a prognosis at least 1 in 3 infertile couples hear every year. In simple terms, doctors have been unable to uncover a root cause of infertility. The best course of action is assisted reproductive technology or ART. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) are the most common, and choosing the right one depends on different factors.

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Explaining unexplained infertility

For a successful pregnancy, both males and females must be in the best reproductive health possible. If a natural pregnancy fails after frequently trying for 6 months to a year, doctors will recommend some tests. These tests review sperm quality, egg quality, and the woman’s reproductive organ health. Ruling out underlying medical conditions, if all appears normal, the situation is unexplained. The good thing is that unexplained fertility does not rule out getting pregnant at all.

Should you go with IUI?

When dealing with unexplained infertility, ART can help speed things up. IUI is often considered the first step in reproductive treatment. With intrauterine insemination, a doctor places a sperm sample directly into the uterus to help with pregnancy. In most cases, the woman takes fertility drugs to stimulate egg production. A fertility clinic washes and prepares a sperm sample. At the appropriate time, the doctor uses a special catheter to insert the sperm into the uterus and monitor for pregnancy.

When IUI is best

IUI is an excellent option for unexplained infertility. If the female reproductive system is in good health, IUI can help sperm bypass the need to pass through the vagina. Sperm can sometimes have difficulty traveling to the uterus. For instance, hostile cervical mucus can prevent the egg from reaching the uterus in time. In many cases, IUI is effective in treating infertility both with and without fertility drugs. Persons should note that there are some risks, including multiple pregnancies.

Choosing IVF instead

IVF or in vitro fertilization is a more complex but effective process. In short, IVF involves the extraction of both eggs and sperm. An embryologist in a fertility clinic combines the cells in a culture dish. From there, the newly developed embryo is implanted into the uterus for pregnancy. There are also several steps to enhance the chances of pregnancy, like ICSI, blastocyst cultures, and more. On average, IVF has a success rate as high as 39% that decreases with age.

Why IVF may work

IVF works best for persons who have tried several cycles of IUI without success. There could be a genetic disorder or factors like advanced maternal age. IVF also has the advantage of freezing healthy embryos for further use. In terms of future family planning, the process becomes much smoother. In choosing IVF, the cost must come into play since IVF is far more expensive per cycle than IUI. However, IUI may take more cycles, increasing the overall cost.

Unexplained but not the end

Unexplained infertility can be frustrating and confusing. However, just because there is no real cause does not mean that pregnancy is impossible. Techniques like IUI and IVF could be precisely what hopeful persons need to move forward. IUI can help as an effective and cheaper first option. However, if IUI fails, IVF is the gold standard for fertility treatment. Following the process correctly can bring significant results. Don’t let unexplained infertility prevent any family plans. Talk to a fertility specialist about the right help today.

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