When a couple has tried for a year to conceive a pregnancy without success, they are considered infertile and, if they do want to have a child, will be among the thousands who seek professional help. The condition that is causing the infertility often determines the choice of methodology used to help the couple conceive. Two of the most common methods used to help couples conceive are intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF).

What is IUI?

This method of treating infertility is very straightforward and only takes about 15 to 20 minutes in the doctor's office. Sperm that have been washed and concentrated are inserted directly into the uterus via a catheter on the day the ovary releases an egg. The desired outcome is that the sperm will swim into the fallopian tubes and fertilize the waiting egg, resulting in a normal pregnancy.

How Does IUI Differ from IVF?

In IVF, fertilization is performed outside of the uterus by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish as opposed to IUI, which sees the sperm injected into the uterus to fertilize the egg inside the woman's body. IVF has five basic steps including the embryo transfer:

· Stimulate and monitor development of healthy eggs in the ovaries

· Egg collection

· Obtaining the sperm

· Combining the sperm and egg together in the lab, providing an appropriate fertilization environment and early embryo growth

· Transfer of embryos to uterus

Table of Contents
1. IUI vs. IVF FAQs
2. When is IVF best?
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