Good Old Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) as a Much Easier and Cheaper Alternative to IVF

Khryss | Published 2017-08-01 09:25

We're in with the old again!

An old way of boosting chances of conception comes to rise again with a new research. They found that while unpopular today, putting sperm directly into a uterus is actually very effective.

This technique called "turkey baster" has been practiced as early as the 1400s. An improved version (intrauterine insemination or IUI) was even utilized on which the sperm is washed first to decrease the risk of having infections. Another version asks women to drink certain drugs to increase the eggs they release.

However, with the rise of advancement, a new technique has been popularized and was announced to increase the chance of pregnancy than the IUI. Studies have shown that a single round of IVF is actually very effective, even more effective than the former method.

But not anymore.

Now Cindy Farquhar of the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and her colleagues asked 201 couples to have three rounds of IUI, together with a drug that aids with ovulation and compared the results with naturally trying to conceive.

They found that 9 per cent to 31 per cent of couples with unknown 3 to 4 years infertility had an increased birth rate! This is very important as IUI is much cheaper (about 75% cheaper) and easier to conduct (no surgeries necessary)!

A study of Ben Cohlen of the Fertility Clinic Isala in Zwolle, the Netherlands, and his team on 602 couples even showed that with just about six rounds of treatment, IUI has been as successful as drug-free IVF. “For unexplained or mild male infertility, I would do at least three cycles of IUI before trying IVF,” says Cohlen.

 “We are overusing IVF to treat unexplained infertility,” says Roy Homburg at Homerton University Hospital in London.


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