Intrauterine Insemination or IUI is a procedure in which the male’s washed semen is placed directly into the female’s uterus near the time of ovulation. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization.
IUI is the least invasive procedure that our clinic offers and may be the first procedure utilized when a couple seeks fertility treatment, unless certain male or female factors exist prohibiting its success.
At CACRM, we feel it is necessary to always advise our patients of the minimal success rates of utilizing IUI as a form of achieving pregnancy. If a couple has the IUI procedure performed each month, success rates may reach as high as 20% per cycle depending on variables such as female age, the reason for infertility, and whether fertility drugs were used, among other variables. While IUI is a less invasive and less expensive option, pregnancy rates from IUI are considerably lower than those from IVF.
MOST COMMON INDICATIONS FOR IUI
- Poor or absent female cervical mucus
- Low sperm count
- Low sperm motility
THE IUI PROCESS
If sperm is not being frozen, the female recipient must be prepared to receive the sample. In some cases ovulation stimulating medications may be used and the female recipient will be monitored to determine when eggs are mature and ready to be fertilized.
The semen sample will be washed to separate the sperm from the seminal fluid. Concentration is accomplished by selectively choosing highly active, healthy sperm that are more capable of fertilizing an egg.
A catheter will be used to insert the sperm directly into the uterus. The IUI procedure takes only a few minutes and involves minimal discomfort. The next step is confirmation of pregnancy.