Fertility treatment: How to differentiate IVF from Intra uterine insemination

Hussein, 40, and his wife Lami have been married for five years when they decided to go for In-vitro Fertilisation (IVF). The fertility treatment had become like a household name around them and they decided to go for it without any investigation or recommendations from any medical expert. They told the medic they met at a fertility centre that they have been without a child for years and wish to try IVF. The centre thereafter conducted some tests and procedures which led to Mrs Hussein’s pregnancy and later birth of a baby girl.

A year later as the couple read more about infertility and Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART), they realized that the hospital had in fact done Intra Uterine Insemination, popularly called IUI, and not IVF as they had made them believe. The couple also realized that they had been made to pay the cost of IVF instead of a lower amount for IUI.

Like the Husseins, many couples have undergone fertility treatments without knowing what they were if they needed them and why they should have chosen others. Some fertility centres have exploited the ignorance of couples to fleece them in the name of IVF when they actually did IUI, or other simpler fertility treatments. Some people think that every form of Assisted Reproductive Technology is In vitro fertilization (IVF).

While IVF is good and an advanced technology which some couples need to overcome infertility, it is important for couples to educate themselves about fertility treatments and whether they need IVF or other forms of treatment. In vitro fertilization (IVF), and Intrauterine insemination (IUI) are the most common fertility treatments. For Intrauterine insemination(IUI) healthy sperm is collected and inserted directly into a woman’s uterus while she is ovulating while for IVF, eggs are taken from your ovaries and fertilized by sperm in the lab where they develop into embryos; the doctor then puts the embryos into the woman’s uterus. In vitro fertilization (IVF) simply means fertilization outside of the body. The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) said Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is an infertility treatment that is often called artificial insemination. In this procedure, specially prepared sperm is inserted into the woman’s uterus. Sometimes the woman is also treated with medicines that stimulate ovulation before IUI. IUI is often used to treat mild male factor infertility and couples with unexplained infertility. According to Dr Chris Aimakhu, a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, about 20% of couples in Nigeria suffer from infertility meaning, “In an average clinic, if you see about 10 patients, about six or seven of them are fertile,” he said. Aimakhu, who is also the Secretary General of the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON), told Daily Trust that there are some reasons why sexual intercourse may not lead to pregnancy, adding that there are simple and advanced techniques that could help change the situation. He explained that IUI is a technique in which without sexual intercourse semen is inserted into the uterus of a woman, “that way the sperm doesn’t have to go through a long distance before pregnancy occurs.” He said it is also termed sexual intercourse. “If a woman has a 28 day cycle, it is not every day that she is fertile. The technique also helps to counsel the patient on when fertility can occur. That way doctors have a picture of what it is. IUI solves problems, but does not solve all problems, that is why there are also advanced ones like IVF,” Aimakhu who is also an Associate Professor at the University College Hospital (UCH) Ibadan added. Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, a fertility expert and Managing Director, Nordica Fertility Centre, said it is important for the public to educate themselves about fertility treatments and know their differences. “It is just like selling a Volkswagen car to you for a Mercedes Benz and you don’t know the difference. That’s why we are always trying to educate the public about it. Clients must know exactly what they are buying, and what it does exactly before paying their money,” he said. Speaking during a training for doctors on IUI in collaboration with the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON) in Abuja, he said IUI is a basic form of fertility treatment. He warned the public about just going to any kind of place for IVF. “When you go to an IVF clinic, you can even tell if it is a genuine clinic from the instruments that they are using. A place which has one room where the doctor consults and does the procedures cannot be an IVF clinic. “I think patients in the quest for what is cheap also sometimes end up being scammed. You don’t decide to do IVF by calling a place and asking ‘how much is IVF?’ Before you do anything, educate yourself on it so that you will be able to see the difference. It’s not rocket science. For example if you have blocked tubes you cannot do IUI, because in IUI fertilization takes place in the tube. Your tubes must be good and your sperm count must be good to be able to do IUI. Unlike IVF where your tubes might be blocked, and your sperm count might not be too good. “There is hope for infertile couples. They should search for the right centres. There are some very serious clinics in Nigeria you can look for. People come from abroad to do IVF in Nigeria now,” he said.

Read more: https://www.dailytrust.com.ng/fertility-treatment-how-to-differentiate-ivf-from-intra-uterine-insemination.html


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