IUI (intrauterine insemination) is a relatively simple infertility treatment. In this treatment washed sperm is placed with the use of a very small tube, into the uterus. The other term that is commonly used for IUI is Artificial Insemination. We have a large number of patients who enquire about IUI and how it works.
When fertility treatments above & beyond the use of fertility drugs are being considered, intrauterine insemination might be the first one that is tried. It’s much simpler do these, compared to assist reproductive technologies such as IVF , and it costs a great deal less too.
When Is Intrauterine Insemination Treatment Used?
Intrauterine insemination may be used when:
• the woman’s cervical mucus is much less than ideal, IUI becomes the preferred treatment
• using only Clomid (clomiphene citrate) doesn't help
• using donor sperm
• for patients with unexplained infertility, who are looking for a less expensive option as compared to IVF treatment. The pregnancy rate is lower, but since the cost difference is high, couples are able to afford more cycles with it
IUI- The Procedure
Fertility drugs aren’t always used in the IUI procedure, but a number of doctors prefer using Clomid (an ovulation drug) to increase the chances of success. Others will want to superovulate you using HMG injections to improve your chances of getting pregnant.
• Regardless of whether you are using fertility drugs or not, your doctor may ask you to use a good ovulation predictor kit at home for the cycle that this treatment is going to be used in
• Once you have detected the LH surge (this hormone is at its highest just before ovulation & can be detected by these ovulation kits), you will have to call your doctor
• Ovulation can also be tracked with the help of serial ultrasound scans ( follicular monitoring)
• In case your partner’s sperm is being used (and not a donor’s), he will be given details about sperm collection (in some cases it may be done at the clinic while in others, it could be done at home)
• The collected sperm will be processed in the lab to separate and concentrate the best sperm in a small volume of culture medium
• The doctor will then use a thin tube called a catheter to place these sperm into your uterus via your cervix
• It’s a painless treatment, though there could be slightly cramping
• Either the doctor or the nurse will perform this procedure
Some IUI Facts
• In the case of male infertility, IVF/ICSI is a much better choice
• It’s a good option when a sperm donor is being used. This is especially true when there are no female infertility factors
• If hostile cervical mucus is the reason of infertility, IUI becomes a good treatment choice. Even in this case, the woman’s age and male infertility factors have to be taken into account
It’s a fact that IUI is far more cost-effective compared to IVF. This lower cost is what makes it attractive to a number of patients. However, it has to be understood that this treatment will not work in every infertility case and only your IVF doctor will be able to tell you whether it’s a good choice for you. In some situations, keeping the chances of success in view, IVF may be a much better option.
Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you better!