What Is IUI?

IUI is a low-tech Assisted Reproductive technique (ART) and the most commonly used method of artificial insemination. It is a medical procedure used in treating some cases of infertility during which washed and concentrated sperm is placed directly into the uterus around the time a woman is ovulating. IUI can significantly increase the likelihood of conception.

IUI is believed to improve conception by the following ways:

  1. By placing the sperms directly inside the womb, we decrease the Travel Time of the Sperm to reach the egg in the ampulla of the fallopian tube where fertilization occurs thereby increasing the probability of conception.
  2. Also by placing the sperms directly inside the womb thereby bypassing the cervix, we increase the number of sperms reaching the fallopian tubes.
  3. Finally, IUI is most commonly combined with ovulation induction, in which medication is used to induce ovulation, or superovulation, which stimulates the release of multiple eggs in one month. In such cases, conception is further enhanced.

When To Consider IUI?

  • Female Ovarian dysfunction: the irregular release of eggs from the ovaries
  • Female Cervical factor infertility: Hostile cervical environment like the rare sperm antibodies, etc
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome: a common hormonal disorder found in women
  • Severe Vaginismus.
  • Male Factors: Severe hypospadias, retrograde ejaculation, impotence, male factor infertility with donor sperms
  • Unexplained infertility: diagnosed when all investigations are normal. In such cases, IUI combined with ovulation superovulation can increase the chances of pregnancy.

Success Rate Of IUI

There are lots of factors that can impact on success rate, including the age of the female partner, the male sperm count and motility, and the number of mature follicles on follicular tracking, etc.

It is imperative thus to speak with your physician about whether IUI is an option for you and the expected success rate. Based on the results of your cycle, or if the IUI treatment is not successful within a few cycles, your physician may suggest moving on to a different type of treatment.

IUI Treatment Procedure

An IUI is a very simple procedure and takes only a few minutes. Once the doctor has determined that the female partner who will be inseminated is close to ovulation, she will be instructed to take a final trigger injection. This causes the eggs to mature and controls when ovulation will occur.

The male partner will come in at his appointment time and produce a sperm sample. On the other hand, a frozen sample or donor sperm sample can be used. The sperm will be washed, sorted and prepared for the insemination.
The female partner will also come in at her appointment time and be escorted to the examination room.

During the insemination, the doctor will insert a speculum into the vagina to visualize the cervix. The cervical canal will be well cleaned and a small catheter will be inserted through the cervix and into the uterus. You may feel a slight cramp when this happens; so many women do not feel anything at all. The doctor will then inject the sperm through the catheter. The catheter and speculum will be removed and you will be allowed to rest for several minutes.

How Much Does IUI Cost?

IUI costs are significantly less than that of IVF, but may vary depending on the individual case.

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