IVF AND IUI
“Not ovulating is a common cause of inability to get pregnant,” says Dr Masoud Afnan, Chief Medical Officer, Obstetrician & Gynecologist, and fertility specialist of Beijing United Family Hospital. “Other causes could be blocked fallopian tubes, or because more couples these days wait until later in life to try, which makes it more difficult as fertility halves every two years after the age of 38.” IVF (in vitro fertilisation) or IUI (intrauterine insemination) could be options.
The difference, Afnan explains, is that for IVF, the eggs are fertilised with sperm in a tube. Fertilised eggs are then inserted into the woman to develop. IUI involves injecting the sperms into the uterus during the woman’s ovulation, aiming for fertilisation inside.
May Chen was unable to conceive after three years of trying through sexual intercourse, and being in her late thirties, the couple tried IVF. “I had injections and blood tests everyday in preparation.” After the first attempt, Chen conceived and continued the pregnancy as normal. Her daughter is now five months old.
Mr and Mrs D opted for IVF after a failed attempt at IUI, and got pregnant after one year of their fertility efforts. “An interesting aspect of the experience,” they recount, “is that any embryos that survive to day five can be stored cryogenically for a future implantation. We had one of those embryos from our first round of IVF. This last summer, we had that embryo implanted and she survived and is now our second child. IVF has worked for us twice from only one cultivation of embryos.”