IUI vs IVF: Navigating Fertility Treatment With Irregular Periods

IUI vs IVF: Navigating Fertility Treatment With Irregular Periods

Regulate Your Cycle For Pregnancy

Irregular periods can make conception more difficult, but not impossible. With fertility treatment, like intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF), the dream of pregnancy can become a reality. Different medications are used during the process to regulate the cycle, boost egg production, and increase the chances of successful implantation.


Causes of irregular periods

A normal menstrual period lasts about 4-7 days and occurs roughly every 28 days. A woman is said to have an irregular cycle if periods occur less than 21 days or more than 35 days apart. There are many reasons an individual may have an irregular period. Some causes, like stress or intense exercise, can temporarily disrupt the cycle. Certain health conditions, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and endometriosis, can also lead to irregularity. Hormone imbalances, such as a thyroid condition, may cause a period to be irregular, and certain medications can also affect the cycle. Determining the exact cause of the irregular period is the first step in planning how to achieve pregnancy.

How IUI and IVF can help

When pregnancy doesn’t occur naturally, many couples turn to fertility treatment to get pregnant. Intrauterine insemination is a less invasive option where a woman is given medication to stimulate egg growth, and a male partner or donor’s concentrated sperm is injected directly into the uterus at an optimal time in the cycle. If all goes according to plan, pregnancy occurs. IVF takes things a step further. The process also begins with ovulatory stimulant medication to increase the production of eggs. The eggs are then retrieved and combined with sperm in the lab to create embryos. Once mature, the embryo is transferred back into the uterus.

Get regular

The main benefit of IUI or IVF for women with irregular cycles is the ability to use medication during a closely monitored cycle to increase the chances of success. Although each case will be unique, depending on the cause of irregularity, the doctor will often begin by prescribing birth control. While this may feel counterintuitive, the hormones in the birth control prescription are a great first step in regulating the cycle. Next, ovulatory stimulants are added to increase egg production. This is especially important for women undergoing a retrieval. An additional drug to trigger ovulation may also be prescribed to best time the insemination or IVF retrieval.

Success rates

Ultimately, the success rate will depend on various factors, including the fertility procedure chosen, the woman’s age, and the cause of the irregular period. In some cases, an irregular cycle may be a sign of early menopause or premature ovarian insufficiency (POI), and pregnancy will be much more challenging to achieve. Other women may have an easily modifiable cause for the irregularity and can achieve success quickly with IUI or IVF. Talking to a doctor about all the factors at play can help patients select the best fertility treatment.

Fertility solutions

In most cases, women with irregular periods can benefit from a closely observed IUI or IVF cycle where ovulation is controlled with medication. Although early, late, or missing periods can lead to stress, building a family is still possible, even when the cycle is not regular.

Go to Top