Intrauterine insemination is a fertility treatment that involves inserting washed sperm into the uterus. It is done at the time of ovulation to improve the chances of pregnancy.
When to Consider IUI
For IUI to work, you need at least one fallopian tube that is open and healthy.
IUI may help you if:
- Your infertility problems are unexplained.
- You are using donor sperm.
- You have had previous surgery on your cervix that makes it hard for the sperm to pass through the cervix to the uterus and tubes (for example, a trachelectomy or cone biopsy).
- Your male partner has low sperm count, motility (swimming), and/or morphology (shape). IUI is often recommended when the total number of swimming sperm in a semen sample is between 5 and 20 million/mL. A normal sperm count is above 20 million/mL.
- Sperm counts below 5 million/mL usually require IVF and ICSI.
- The male partner is unable to ejaculate into the vagina. This can be due to pain in the woman, disability in either partner, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, or other such problems.
What to Expect During Treatment
IUI can be used on its own or, more commonly, along with medication to increase the number of eggs being ovulated. There are three medication regimens typically used with IUI. These are:
- Gonadotropin injections (also called superovulation or ovulation induction)
You take these medications during the first part of your menstrual cycle. When ovulation occurs, an IUI is performed.
On the day of the IUI procedure, the male partner ejaculates a semen sample into a cup at home or in our private room at the clinic. The sample is given to one of our andrologists, ideally within 30 minutes of it being produced. After getting the sample, the andrologist washes the semen and prepares it for IUI (this takes approximately two hours). Then the washed sperm is put into a thin plastic cathether which is then put into the woman’s uterus through her cervix and the sperm are released.
You will lie down for about five minutes after insemination. You do not need to lie down longer as the cervix is then closed and the sperm will not fall out. You can resume regular activities after the IUI.
IUI takes about 5 minutes to perform.
How Successful Is IUI?
The success rate is 5%-25% depending on the particular situation.
How to Get Started
Ask your doctor if IUI is appropriate for you. Then, on the first day of the menstrual cycle, you call the Olive nursing line and get started..