Differences between IUI and IVF >> Reproclinic Blog
Differences between IUI and IVF

Differences between IUI and IVF

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) are two of the most used techniques in assisted reproductionclinics. Each technique has its indications and it is essential to have a prior medical diagnosis so that the specialist will be able to recommend the most appropriate technique for each case.

It is common among our patients to be confused and to used both as synonyms. Therefore, today we would like to dedicate this publication to tell you what are the differences between IUI and IVF. But first, let’s discover with Reproclinic what each treatment consists of.


What is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?


Intrauterine insemination is a procedure timed according to a woman’s ovulation and consists of introducing into the uterus of the woman the most optimal spermatozoa to fertilize the egg.

In the laboratory, the sperm with better mobility and progression are selected and introduced with a very thin and flexible catheter in the uterus of the woman. The process is named insemination and is the technique that simulates what is happening in a natural conception.  Once the sperm are deposited inside the utherus they will have to travel to the fallopian tubes to find the egg and the best sperm will have to fertilize the egg.

This treatment requires low dose of hormones as doctors only want one or two eggs to be grow. Can be carried out with partner’s sperm  of the partner or donor’s sperm.

Learn more about Intrauterine Insemination (Artificial Insemination)

What is In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)?


It is a laboratory technique that allows eggs to be fertilized with sperm outside the uterus, in the lab. Is the most successful method of fertility treatment. The stimulation procedure involves a higher level of hormones as 10-15 eggs wants to be grown. Once eggs are fertilized in vitro, the most competent embryo is transferred into the woman’s uterus to continue its development.

IVF can be performed with own or donor’s eggs or partner or donor’s sperm.

Learn more about In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)


Main differences between IUI and IVF




The price of intrauterine insemination is usually lower than in In Vitro Fertilization, as it is a simpler technique. The price of IVF is higher because it is a longer and more complex process and also depends if you use your own eggs and sperm or you will need an egg or sperm donor.

In Spain, egg donation is anonymous and egg donor’s compensation is regulated by law, so the price of an IVF treatment with donor eggs can be up to 50% cheaper than in countries such as the United States and the Middle East.

The success rate of Intrauterine Insemination (Artificial Insemination) ranges between 15-20% per cycle. In vitro fertilization, however, is between 40-70%. The variation of effectiveness in IVF depends on multiple factors:

  • The age of the woman and the quality of the ovarian reserve
  • The quality of the transferred embryos
  • If there are uterine pathologies or some genetic condition
  • The quality of the semen

The medical team will be responsible for estimating the most reliable pregnancy percentage after studying each case.




IUI, in general, is indicated for young couples with a good medical prognosis: Women under 35, who have been looking for pregnancy for a short time, with mild ovulatory dysfunctions or with slight seminal alterations.

IVF, on the other hand, is especially indicated for women over 35 years of age, obstructions of the fallopian tubes, with more complex medical diagnoses or moderate or severe seminal abnormalities.




In what cases is Intrauterine Insemination indicated?


  • Women with no male partner
  • Short sterility (1 year)
  • Woman age under 35.
  • Mild alterations in ovulation
  • Suboptimal sperm quality, low mobility or low count number.

In what cases is In vitro Fertilization indicated?


  • Male factor. When the sperm quality is low.
  • Tubal factor. When an obstruction or alteration in the fallopian tubes is observed.
  • Women age over 34 years.
  • Low ovarian reserve. The ovaries do not produce enough mature eggs during a hormonal stimulation process.
  • Repeating miscarriages.
  • If a genetic disease occurs in the couple or family and you want to have a child without the disease of the parents.


In conclusion, the main differences between IUI and IVF are mainly based on the place where fertilization takes place: in the laboratory or inside the uterus. Each treatment is indicated according to the medical diagnosis made by the specialist.

Given the complexity of each technique, the price and success rate of each may vary. As well as the duration of the intervention and the difficulty of the process.

If you have been trying to conceive without success for more than a year, contact our specialists. We can help you make your dream come true!

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