28 de March, 2024

In Vitro Fertilization vs. Artificial Insemination

Differences between In Vitro Fertilization and Artificial Insemination

In Assisted Reproduction, there are different types of treatments according to the needs of each patient. These are divided into low and high complexity, the best known nowadays are artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization, respectively.

Although both terms are often confused, each technique's procedure is quite different. This article will explain the variations between these treatments and for whom they are recommended.

How is artificial insemination performed?

Artificial Insemination (AI) is a low-complexity treatment that consists of placing a semen sample in the uterus through a catheter. This sample can be from the couple or a donor, thus offering the possibility of having a baby to single women, heterosexual couples, and same-sex couples.

AI is a simpler technique than In Vitro Fertilization and, therefore, it is the first treatment indicated on many occasions. This technique is carried out as follows:

  1. Ovarian stimulation is performed by administering medication
  2. The semen sample, obtained from the partner or donor, is prepared, this is known as sperm capacitation
  3. The prepared semen sample is transferred to the uterus and insemination is performed using a catheter to facilitate fertilization.

How is In Vitro Fertilization performed?

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a highly complex Assisted Reproduction treatment due to the series of procedures used to improve fertility, obtaining the union of the egg and sperm in a specialized laboratory.

IVF requires constant follow-up and monitoring by an expert in Assisted Reproduction, to avoid risks and complications throughout the process, which consists of 5 steps to be carried out:

  1. Ovarian Stimulation: through the administration of medication, several eggs are released to increase the chances of fertilization.
  2. Egg Retriever: using an ultrasound adapted with an attachment, which sucks the follicles to obtain mature eggs.
  3. Fertilization: once the best quality sperm and eggs are selected, they are placed in a laboratory plate to allow fertilization and embryo formation.
  4. Embryo culture: the embryos are kept in special incubators and monitored to see that they grow properly.
  5. Embryo transfer: the best quality embryos are transferred through a special catheter into the uterus, a painless process, which requires advanced screening techniques to avoid multiple pregnancies.

Who is each treatment recommended for?

Artificial insemination is recommended when infertility problems in a couple or single woman are minimal, however, to increase the effectiveness of the treatment, the following must also be met:

  • Be under 35 years of age
  • Ovulation and ovarian reserve alterations should be minimal
  • To have permeable and functional fallopian tubes
  • To have a motile sperm count of at least 3 million

On the other hand, In Vitro Fertilization is recommended for women or couples who have previously tried low-complexity treatments, have a severe infertility diagnosis, and have the following characteristics: 

  • Women over 35 years old
  • Women with low ovarian reserve
  • Obstructed fallopian tubes or salpingoclasia
  • Moderate to severe male factors: oligozoospermia, asthenozoospermia, teratozoospermia, etc.

Remember that the choice of an Assisted Reproduction treatment will depend on the diagnosis that your specialist gives you and with which you will achieve your dream of becoming a mother. There is no one better than another, it is the one that best suits your needs.

Have you been trying to have a baby for more than a year and you haven't succeeded? At Ingenes we can help you.


If you would like to have a consultation with one of our fertility specialists to know your diagnosis, tell us about yourself by clicking on this link and we will gladly advise you.

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