Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment in which sperm is introduced inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. The purpose of intrauterine inseminationis to increase the number of sperm that can reach the fallopian tubes and consequently increase the probability of fertilization. It provides the sperm an advantage by giving it a head start, but still a sperm needs to reach and fertilize the egg on its own. It is a less invasive and less expensive option in comparison to in vitro fertilization.
For any of the following situation IUI treatment may be recommended:Infertility in males
IUI is not recommended for the following patients:
- Women having severe disease of the fallopian tubes
- Women with a record of pelvic infections
- Women having moderate to severe endometriosis
Ovulation-stimulating medications might be used before proceeding with intrauterine insemination, in which case careful monitoring will be necessary to determine when the eggs are getting matured. Afterwards, the intrauterine insemination procedure will be performed, around the time of ovulation, typically about 24-36 hours after the surge in LH hormone that indicates ovulation will occur soon.
- A semen sample will be washed by the lab to isolate the semen from the seminal fluid. A catheter would then be used to insert the sperm directly into the uterus. This process increases the number of sperm cells that are placed in the uterus, thus increasing the possibility of conception.
- The IUI procedure takes only a few minutes and involves nominal discomfort. The next step will be to watch for signs and symptoms of pregnancy.
Risks associated with the process of intrauterine insemination:
- The chances of conceiving are increased if you take fertility medication when having IUI. There is also a little risk of infection after IUI.
How successful is intrauterine insemination:
- The success of IUI depends on various factors. If a couple go for IUI procedure each month, success rates may reach as high as 20% per cycle depending on variables such as female age, the grounds for infertility, and whether fertility drugs were used, among other variables.
- While IUI seems to be a less invasive and less expensive option, pregnancy rates from IUI are lower than those from IVF. If you are planning for IUI, talk with your doctor to discuss your options.
- Some couples desire to explore more traditional or over the counter efforts before exploring infertility procedures. If you are trying to get pregnant and looking for resources to support your efforts, the fertility product can be checked.
However, if you are looking for testing or options to increase your chances of conception, you can find a fertility specialist.