COVID-19 Policy – Click here for Updates.

August 26: Fertility Health Checks Learn More

In Vitro Fertilisation vs. Artificial Insemination

Embryologist freezing embryos for storage

There are various reasons why you may choose to have artificial insemination or In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF).

Some of those reasons are:

  • You Have Infertility Problems
  • Same-sex Couple wanting Biological Children
  • Want to Have Children Without a Partner

Regardless of which reason describes your situation, there are options available for you to have the child or family you have always dreamed of. These two procedures have been proven to be successful, but neither of the two is guaranteed.

What is IVF?

If you are having IVF, the eggs will be fertilized outside of the body, and only transplanted into the uterus once they are fertilized and the embryos have had a chance to grow for a few days. Doctors use a catheter and syringe to inject the embryos into the uterus. Any suitable embryos that are not transferred are frozen, and used during the next cycle (Frozen Embryo Transfer, FET).

What is Artifical Insemination?

Artificial insemination, sometimes referred to as Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI), is completely different. Generally this procedure is much less involved and less invasive than an IVF cycle, and as such is less expensive than IVF, but with that comes lower success rates than IVF. A doctor will inject sperm, which has been specially prepared in the lab, into your uterus around the time of ovulation. The sperm is then required to swim through to the egg as it would naturally, given this occurs in the body, fertilisation can not be confirmed which makes this method less efficient than IVF. Artificial insemination requires relatively good quality sperm and uses fresh – newly ejaculated – sperm where possible, but frozen sperm can be used if the thawed sperm is deemed strong enough

IVF vs. AI Success Rates

Neither procedure guarantees a successful pregnancy, and the success will depend on the age of the woman, the sperm count of the male, and the egg quality. Generally IVF is at least twice as successful as Artificial Insemination.Your success will also depend on your health. The healthier you are, the better your chances to get pregnant and carry a child to full-term are. If you are interested in having artificial insemination or IVF, a doctor or specialist can provide you with more options, pertaining to which procedure is the best choice for you.