A new study suggests a few months of IUI might work just as well.
No surprises here. We have been advising our patients to consider intrauterine insemination (IUI) as an alternative to IVF for years.
A recent study again confirms the that IUI is a reasonable approach to treating infertility. Researchers in New Zealand found that women who did IUI along with oral medications (clomiphene was used in this study) for 3 months has similar pregnancy rates to those who went straight to IVF on their first treatment cycle.
So, why would one to go straight to IVF? IVF offers several advantages over inseminations:
- higher pregnancy rates
- shorter time to conception
- ability to genetically test the embryos before putting them back
- elimination of most multiple births when only one embryo transferred
- the ability to freeze left over embryos for future use
IUI also has some significant advantages:
- much less expensive (about 1/5 of the cost)
- much less invasive
- fewer drugs, fewer injections
- no need for anesthesia
- less stressful
- lower multiple birth rates when oral fertility drugs are used and multiple embryos are transferred with IVF
All couples have a different comfort level when it comes to fertility treatment. Like most medical treatments, fertility treatments involve balancing the effectiveness and risks of the various options. This is an important discussion to have with your doctor.