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Your Fertility Journey – IUI, IVF, ICSI or PICSI?

30th October 2022

Your Fertility Journey – IUI, IVF, ICSI or PICSI?

Dr. Abha Bhat, Consulant Gynaecologist breaks down the differences between IUI, IVF, ICSI & PICSI

The Million Dollar Question – IUI, IVF, ICSI or PICSI?

If you are just starting out on your fertility journey, you could have a million questions about what is right for you. The amount of information on fertility treatments and options available to you can be like a maze – almost impossible to navigate. As part of our campaign for National Fertility Awareness Week, Dr. Abha Bhat has broken it down into smaller digestible chunks to help you understand the difference between IUI, IVF, ICSI and PICSI. Included is a cost comparison between these four fertility treatments to give you a snapshot of the costs involved*.

In short:

With Intrauterine insemination (IUI), sperm is introduced into the womb by means of a small procedure at the time of the cycle when the woman is ovulating and then the egg is released naturally from the woman with the hope that the sperm and egg will meet and form an embryo.

With In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) the person providing eggs has to take medication to grow several follicles, the eggs are removed from the body during an egg collection procedure and then fertilised with the sperm in the laboratory. The fertilised egg and sperm then form an embryo which is placed back into the womb a few days later. For a same-sex female couple where the lady has normal fertility levels and patent fallopian tubes it may be best to try IUI first as it is less invasive and less expensive.

Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a specific method used in the laboratory to fertilise the eggs. Unlike standard IVF, where the sperm and eggs are mixed together to allow the sperm to fertilise the eggs, in ICSI an individual sperm is injected directly into each suitable egg. ICSI is recommended to patients based on their medical history and test results and would be discussed with you at your new consultation appointment with a doctor.

Physiological ICSI (PICSI) is a very similar process to ICSI. There is an additional sperm election method that is used to choose sperm that is most likely to be mature. As with ICSI this is recommended based on your medical history and test results and will be discussed with you at your new consultation appointment with a doctor. ICSI and PICSI are treatments that may be indicated for Male Factor infertility when the HBA score at semen assessment is less than 65%, which indicates a reduced level of mature sperm within the sample.

The results of the semen analysis and both partners’ reproductive history will determine the best fertility treatment option for the fertilisation of eggs.

IVF and ICSI are laboratory techniques by which a single sperm fertilises a single mature egg. The decision as to which treatment is the most suitable for a patient will depend on the quality of the sperm sample you provide on the day of the egg collection. Sperm quality can fluctuate on a regular basis and is usually reflective of lifestyle approximate three months before the sample was produced.

You also have the option of Egg Freezing as a consideration for fertility preservation and future family planning. If you would like more information about Egg Freezing read our detailed blog on Egg Freezing to help you decide if Egg Freezing is the right choice for you.


Success Rates

As a clinic we have been licensed by the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) since 1992 as a medium-sized clinic, offering all fertility treatments.

To view our latest success rates as verified by the HFEA visit: www.hfea.gov.uk

We understand that there is a lot of information to take into consideration when deciding on fertility treatment to achieve the end goal of having a family of your own so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions: 01992-785060 or enquiries@hertsandessexfertility.com


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