- To help a woman get pregnant, doctors use intrauterine insemination (IUI).
- With IUI, some causes of infertility are overcome and sperm are placed near mature eggs during ovulation.
- IUI is commonly used when donor sperm is required.
- For an IUI, the process includes fertility testing, medication to stimulate ovulation, choosing a sperm donor, and placing the sperm.
- The procedure itself can cause infection, and ovulation induction medicine can cause multiple pregnancies (twins or more).
What is IUI?
In IUI, a doctor uses a catheter to place sperm directly into a woman’s uterus. IUI helps sperm reach and fertilize mature eggs in a woman’s fallopian tubes, which open to the uterus.
Comparatively, IUI nearly doubles a woman’s chances of getting pregnant compared to sexual activity and previous artificial insemination methods that used sperm in the vagina Because IUI is performed while a woman is ovulating, sperm is placed near the fallopian tubes where fertilization occurs. Ovulation occurs when a woman’s ovaries release a mature egg for fertilization.
Women under 35 have a 10% chance of getting pregnant after one IUI procedure. Because a woman’s fertility declines with age, women over 35 have a 5% chance of getting pregnant after one IUI. Notably, the more IUI procedures a woman has, the higher her success rate.
IUI is less invasive and less expensive than in vitro fertilization (IVF), making it an accessible infertility treatment option. However, IVF has a better pregnancy rate than IUI. A fertility specialist can advise patients on the best treatment option for their situation and diagnosis.
Insemination procedures at Women & Infants Fertility Center
A patients’ chances of success with less invasive, less expensive treatments like intrauterine insemination are assessed first. This includes single women and LGBTIQ couples who want to start a family.
Who should consider IUI?
Insemination can help in the following cases.
Individuals with unexplained infertility
Unexplained infertility occurs when a person or couple has difficulty getting pregnant. Many of these women can conceive with IUI.
- LGBTIQ individuals and single women
- Male-factor infertility couples
- Cervical infertility in women
- Endometriotic women
- Menopausal women
- Those with sex issues
What is the process for IUI?
Preferably, women who are considering IUI will first undergo fertility testing. Men with infertility issues will also be tested.
In most cases, women seeking sperm donation choose a donor from a commercial database of traits. body type, medical history, etc.
Women with infertility can take ovulation-inducing drugs like Clomid or Femara 10–12 days before IUI. These drugs increase the number of mature eggs available for fertilization by stimulating follicles to produce more eggs.
IUI is performed when the ovaries are ovulating. Transvaginal ultrasound can track egg production. Women can also test their urine for ovulation at home. An hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) shot can also control ovulation timing. IUI is usually started 36 hours after a trigger shot or a positive urine ovulation test kit.
Before IUI, the male partner’s semen sample is washed. This method purifies and concentrates sperm. This concentrated sample may induce pregnancy.
A doctor inserts a speculum into the vagina, then a catheter into the uterus. This is followed by a thorough washing of the sperm sample. An IUI is often compared to a Pap smear. After 15-30 minutes of lying down, normal activity resumes.
What are the risks of IUI?
Causing cramping or light vaginal bleeding after IUI. In pregnancy, these symptoms usually subside in a few days.
Rarely infected by IUI Infections cause flu-like symptoms and odorous vaginal discharge.
Multipregnancy risk increases with ovulation induction drugs (twins or more). Early labor and low birth weight babies are risks of multiple pregnancies, causing health and developmental issues for the child. Multiples increase the risk of developing conditions like gestational hypertension and preeclampsia.