Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) – what you should know


There are quite a few reasons why you might consider IUI. Firstly, it is one of the most widely used methods for a planned parenthood. Secondly, as sperm is placed directly inside the uterus with the help of a doctor, this method cuts down time and distance of travel giving sperms better chance of success to reach the egg.
  • IUI in detail Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a form of artificial insemination. It is a procedure where sperms are placed in the female reproductive system by means other than intercourse. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the most common form of artificial insemination used. As it is a relatively low-tech solution to infertility problems, IUI is usually one of the first techniques used to assist a couple who have difficulty becoming pregnant.
  • IUI procedure In the procedure, warmed and ‘washed’ (treated) sperm are introduced into the woman’s uterus through a tube. Sperm can be provided by the woman’s husband or partner (artificial insemination by husband – AIH) or sperm provided by a known or anonymous sperm donor (artificial insemination by donor – AID or DI).
  • Time for IUI The procedure is done around the time of ovulation to give the best chance of conception. Hormonal (fertility) medications might be used in conjunction with the treatment to enhance conditions for a pregnancy.
  • Benefits of IUI During normal intercourse, only relatively small number of sperms make it to the woman’s uterus and into the fallopian tubes where fertilization takes place. IUI inserts large amounts of the best performing sperm directly into a woman’s uterus thus increasing the chance of fertilization.
  • When is IUI done? IUI is mainly done when timed intercourse or hormonal medications alone have not worked, or if there are ‘mild’ sperm abnormalities, such as poor motility or low sperm count.

    In addition, IUI can be used to overcome fertility due to the following conditions:

    Mild endometriosis

    Mucus hostility

    Ovulation problems

    Ejaculation problems

  • When is IUI not effective? In conditions of blocked fallopian tube, menopause, severe male factor infertility, severe endometriosis or age over 40 years, IUI may not be an effective option.

    Success rates The success rates for IUI will vary depending on several factors including the number of attempts and age.

    Women often have a 10 to 20 percent chance of getting pregnant with just one IUI cycle.

    The more cycles of IUI you undergo, the higher the chance is for a pregnancy. With 3 to 6 cycles of IUI, pregnancy rates can be as high as 80 percent.

    The pregnancy rate with IUI is similar to, or just slightly lower than, pregnancy rates of couples who conceive naturally.

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