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Should IVF be the First Choice of Treatment For Unexplained Infertility?

Unexplained infertility is where we do not find any cause of infertility, this is often after undertaking tubal tests, reviewing ovarian reserve, sperm is extensively seen and there are no fibroids or endometriosis as seen by a laparoscopy. In these cases this is known as unexplained infertility.


Often women are asked to follow IVF as a treatment of unexplained infertility. However, it is important to realise that IVF is an aggressive treatment involving surgical procedure where eggs are collected, and thus rather than rushing into IVF, it is reasonable enough to understand whether IUI may be an alternative treatment which would give us very good results.

In a study done at the Homerton Fertility Centre and published in Fertility and Sterility, IVF versus intrauterine insemination (IUI) was compared in a randomised control trial; 407 women were given three cycles of IUI with FSH injections or one cycle of IVF. Studies indicated that as long as there were between one and three follicles in the IUI cycle and IUI being performed over 24 hours later, the success rates suggested that the live birth rate in three cycles of IUI approached 26 per cent, which is exceptionally good and comparable to a cycle of IVF.

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