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Dear Patient Care Advocates: IUI or IVF For Women Over 40?

Dear Patient Care Advocates:

I’m 44 and was recently diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve. My partner is 47 and his semen analysis results were normal. Should we try IUI or IVF to conceive?

Amy in Massachusetts

Dear Amy,

Current research published by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) suggests that women over the age of 35 move straight to IVF when trying to conceive. For this age group, IVF yields the greatest odds for successful pregnancy and live birth, and minimizes the risk of pregnancy loss. In the long run IVF saves money too as fewer cycles will be needed to achieve a pregnancy than with intrauterine insemination (IUI).

Typically, IUI can have a success rate of up to 17 percent, but women over the age of 40 will see success rates near 8 percent. In vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles allow for much greater control of ovarian stimulation and egg fertilization (even with mini-IVF and low dose fertility drugs). Particularly when combined with advanced technologies like preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to select the best embryos for transfer, IVF can provide optimal odds for successful live birth with fewer losses to the patient.

Keep in mind as well that many fertility doctors recommend egg donation to women over the age of 42. That is not to steer you away from using your own eggs, rather it factors in your chance of success with your own eggs as compared to using donor eggs. Your doctor actually wants to save you money and heartache!

I highly recommend these articles on so you can learn more about IVF over the age of 40:

Success Rates Over 40: IVF Better Than IUI
Infertility After 40: Don't Waste Time With IUI
PGD and Frozen Embryo Transfer For Women Over 40

Don't forget to visit the Over 35 forum for information on trying to conceive with advanced maternal age.

Best of luck to you!

Watch as Dr. Simon Kipersztok of Shady Grove Fertility Center explains: What are the Success Rates of IUI and IVF?

Click image to play.

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