What defines infertility?

In generally accepted terms, it’s couples who are unable to conceive naturally after at least 1 year of trying. Additional factors include women entering advanced maternity age (35 years and up), women with pre-existing reproductive issues such as tubal blockage, women that experience irregular periods and/or other related medical conditions that negatively impact fertility.

Fertility Treatment Process

Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

IUI, or intra-uterine insemination, is typically the first option chosen for couples who are first experiencing infertility issues, but have not entered advanced maternity age.  This non-invasive process replicates the performing of actual intercourse, in which the man’s semen is first collected, prepared and is then injected directly into the uterus during ovulation.

IUI is suitable for patients who have tried and failed to conceive naturally over the period of 1 year, for men who experience pre-mature ejaculation or are impotent and for women with potential ovulation issues or irregular periods.

IUI is unsuitable for women that are of advanced maternity age, along with women diagnosed with (fallopian) tube blockage, ovarian failure and/or severe endometriosis.

IUI Pros
  • Inexpensive vs IVF

  • Process not as involved as IVF

  • Less time required overall for treatment

  • Completely non-invasive

IUI Cons
  • Lower success rate than IVF

  • Pre-existing reproductive issues can potentially disqualify the use of IUI

  • Not recommended for women of advanced maternity age

IUI Process

IVF/ICSI

IVF, or in-vitro fertilization, is the process of fertilization where a female patient’s egg is combined with the male patient’s sperm outside of the body, or in vitro (“in glass”).  Similarly to IUI, the female patient must first take prescribed hormone medications to stimulate the production of additional eggs for typically a period of at least 10 days.  Once the Doctor deems the patient’s eggs to be ready, the eggs will then be collected at our center and fertilized post-collection.

To aid in increasing fertilization rates, modern IVF treatments also take advantage of ICSI, or Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection, an advanced form of IVF in which one single sperm is injected directly into a mature egg using miniature glass needles.

Once fertilization occurs, our lab will then culture the embryos for 5 days, allowing the embryo to reach the optimal stage of development (a “blastocyst”), at which point the patient can choose to implant the embryo immediately (called a “fresh embryo transfer”), or freeze the embryos for transferring at a later date.

IVF/ICSI Pros
  • Significantly higher success rates vs IUI

  • Effective for couples that already have had vasectomies or tubal litigation done

  • Allows for in-depth genetic screening of embryos prior to transfer

  • Non-invasive, no surgery involved

  • Appropriate for male patients with severe infertility issues, including low sperm counts and low sperm motility

IVF/ICSI Cons
  • More expensive vs IUI

  • More frequent doctor visits/appointments

  • More involved process vs IUI

Process IVF/ ICSI