IUI vs IVF for Low Sperm Count Treatment

Male Infertility

Dr. Suman

Jul 10, 2021

With a lack of high-quality sperm to enter the egg, the chance of getting pregnant has become low. As a result, many couples have started asking a common question in this situation, i.e., whether they should try for low sperm count treatment IVF and IUI

Low Sperm Count Treatment - IUI and IVF

If you are attempting to get pregnant for a long time but fail to get the desired result, i.e., a positive pregnancy test, you have to analyze the factors that may cause infertility. Ovulation disorders and low sperm count are two significant reasons, which may thwart your pregnancy hopes. Significantly, low sperm count associated with male infertility factor affects approximately 9 percent of men, which leads to 1 from a total of three infertile couples. Here, we have discussed both treatment options and their outcomes in detail so that you come up with the right decision for the future. 

What is IUI? 

IUI is the short form of intrauterine insemination, which involves the insertion of sperm directly in the uterus of your female partner at the time of performing ovulation. The idea behind this is to deal with fertility issues associated with the journey of the male’s sperm towards the egg. In simple words, IUI is a recommendable treatment for all searching for tips for getting pregnant with low sperm count, hostile cervical mucus, or poor sperm motility. 

The Process to Perform IUI

If you have to undergo IUI treatment, you have to take fertility medications before few weeks of the procedure. Medications make sure that the eggs become ready. Once the doctor detects that you have a luteinizing hormone surge, your partner provides a fresh sample of sperm. On the other side, the IUI provider will process the respective sperm for concentrating it to enhance the motile sperm number. IUI provider will use a thin tube threaded from the cervix to inject the sperm into the uterus when performing a brief insertion procedure. Sperm will reach the fallopian tube in only 5 minutes. However, we recommend you lie down for about 10 minutes. 

When IUI is Recommendable

IUI treatment is recommendable when-

  • Both male and female partners should be less than 35 years of age.
  • A patient has a minimum of one fallopian tube open
  • Both male and female partners do not have any active infection
  • Enough sperm in motile

What is IVF?

IVF is an effective low sperm count treatment or technique that combines the sperm and egg in a clinic to create embryos ready for the implantation process. With embryo implantation, our doctor will increase your chance related to conception. 

The Process to Perform IVF

If you have the minimum sperm count for IVF treatment, we perform the procedure, which involves the following steps-

  • Prescribing medicines or accumulating hormones to allow the body of a female to produce enough numbers of eggs at a specific period
  • Use of a thin needle to retrieve the produced eggs from the ovary 
  • Addition of sperms to eggs for the proper embryo growth
  • Transfer of healthy embryos in the uterus by using a tube threaded from the cervix. 

Conditions When IVF is Recommendable 

However, if you want to undergo an IVF treatment procedure, you have to meet the following conditions-

  • Very low motility or male sperm count
  • Blocked fallopian tubes because of tubal ligation or scars 
  • If your partner has a history related to vasectomy
  • Advanced endometriosis 
  • Ovulation does not present 
  • A limited number of eggs or poor vitality of eggs 

Low Sperm Count Treatment – IUI and IVF

Sperm Count is Crucial in IUI Treatment

Sperm count is a crucial factor associated with the success of IUI treatment. If you check IUI success stories with low sperm count and motility, you will likely come to know that a sperm count exceeding 5 million to 10 million will increase your pregnancy rate. On the other side, samples with less than 3 million sperm, say 2 million sperm count in IUI, has only 1 percent chance in a single cycle to get pregnant. 

Another research study has revealed a 17 percent success rate in IUI done on 9 million motile sperm. However, the success rate decreased gradually after the sperm count went below 9 million. Experts at our clinic put their best possible efforts into improving your chance to become pregnant, such as conducting sperm washing. However, the rate of success in IUI varies largely, even if there is an increase in post wash sperm count for a successful IUI procedure.  

Switching to IVF for Further Treatment

If you fail to get a positive pregnancy test with the IUI procedure, your doctors recommend the next step, i.e., IVF. In this case, your doctor will create pregnancy conditions outside of the human body. Accordingly, your surgeon will extract eggs, and the clinic will fertilize them with sperm by using a petri dish. Then, your doctor will implant the embryo in the uterus for attempting a pregnancy successfully. This involves many cycles, and the success rate will increase after every attempt regardless of the condition related to minimum sperm count for IVF

Relationship of Sperm Count with IVF Treatment Procedure 

IVF success with a low sperm count is relatively high as compared to the IUI procedure. According to the statistics, there is approximately 25 percent of birth rate in IVF with varying degrees associated with sperm health. However, if you check IVF low sperm count success stories, you will find that the success rate has appeared better, especially with the additional use of ICSI in men who have almost zero sperm.   

Bottom Line

According to the success stories, facts, and statistics, we can say that for low sperm count treatment IUI and IVF are both recommendable depending on the condition of a patient. However, IVF works far better as compared to IUI in the case of low sperm count. If you need any fertility-related consultation, you may feel free to contact us at our clinic. 

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the right time for an IUI?

You must ideally undergo the IUI procedure within only 6 hours of your ovulation. However, if you consider an HCG injection, IUI is recommendable after 24 to 48 hours. Therefore, if you schedule 2 IUI procedures, the spacing between them must be of 24 hours. 

After how much time implantation after IUI takes place?

Implantation usually takes place from a minimum of 6 days to a maximum of 12 days. For this, you have to time your IUI procedure properly and take the necessary steps; for instance, you must lie down on the table for at least 15 minutes after the IUI procedure. 

Do I have to relax after an IUI procedure?

Getting relaxation for a while is recommendable for patients undergoing an IUI procedure. For instance, a few patients reduce their heavy lifting and aerobic activities with the expectation to increase their chance of embryo implantation followed by getting pregnant. 

Whether I have bleeding, cramping, and discomfort after the IUI procedure?

Yes, a few women have light bleeding and cramping with ovulation, and other forms of discomfort may sometimes occur if you face any difficulty during our IUI procedure. However, as the procedure is painless, the level of discomfort is relatively low. 

How many cycles are recommendable in the case of IUI treatment?

Most pregnancies occur via IUI treatment with the sperm of a male partner in the initial three attempts. However, the chance to get pregnant reduces after three attempts and goes down gradually with further attempts. Hence, IUI is recommendable for only 3 or 4 times. 

Does pregnancy via IVF procedure cause congenital disabilities?

Latest research studies have shown that the rate of congenital disabilities in any IVF-conceived child ranges between 4 percent and 5 percent only. However, birth defects depend on other factors as well instead of only IVF treatment procedures.

Do I have prolonged health issues from fertility hormones?

No, you do not risk prolonged health issues because of IVF procedures or fertility hormones. Research studies showed no association of breast, ovary, or uterine cancer with any prescribed fertility medication during an IVF procedure. 

Does egg retrieval lead to damage of ovaries?

A few women, especially egg donors, may experience short-term problems, like bleeding and infection with egg retrieval. However, in most cases, women do not have any long-term complications, as ovaries remain unaffected by egg retrieval and stimulation. 

How can I get pregnant fast with low sperm count treatment – IUI and IVF?

Getting pregnant fast with low sperm count treatment IUI and IVF depends on the severity of the issue and also the medicine usages. 


Speak to our infertility specialist +91 8969340069

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