Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is often also referred to as artificial insemination, and had created millions of healthy babies for previously infertility couples. When undergoing an IUI procedure, the male’s sperm is injected into the female’s uterus directly by the physician. This procedure if popular with infertile couples because it is cost-effective, and less invasive than some other treatments. Though not required, your doctor may recommend a medication to take along with your treatment, such as Clomid, gonadotropins, or another fertility pill before your IUI cycle begins.
Getting Pregnant with IUI
If you are having difficulty getting pregnant or if you are using donor sperm to conceive, you should look at IUI as a fertility treatment option. At the beginning of this procedure, the male provides a sperm sample to an andrology lab. The lab will wash, process, and concentrate his sperm into a high volume, allowing only the healthiest and mobile sperm access to fertilize your egg.
Your fertility specialist will then carefully monitor your ovulation cycle, in order to perfectly time the IUI (injection of the washed sperm) into your uterus. This process of preparing the sperm, timing insemination accurately, and directly depositing sperm into the uterus helps to maximize your chances of conceiving.
IUI is a great treatment option for infertile couples, or women looking for a sperm donor to get pregnant. The process begins with a sperm sample from either your partner or a male donor that is sent to an andrology lab. At the lab, the sperm is washed, processed and concentrated into a high volume. This allows only the healthiest and mobile sperm to fertilize your egg.
Is IUI right for you?
If you are interested in IUI, you will want to meet with your doctor to make sure that you are a good candidate for the procedure. Your doctor will need to confirm that your fallopian tubes are open, and not blocked. This is a requirement for a successful pregnancy to occur with IUI.
In order to be the right candidate for IUI, your doctor will need to confirm your fallopian tubes are open to move forward with the treatment. Your doctor will also ensure there is enough quality eggs in your ovaries by analyzing your ovarian reserve, and also check your hormone levels.
IUI is also a good option for those who have cervical mucus problems. Sperm are able to move beyond the cervix and directly enter the uterus in IUI, so any poor quality cervical mucus does not create consequences.
The sperm washing procedure done in IUI is an alternative for male factor infertility. This treatment boost chances of conception for males with a low sperm count or poor sperm movement.
Alternatives to IUI
Some women are not the right candidates for IUI treatment, especially those who suffer from endometriosis. Before beginning an IUI treatment, your doctor may conduct a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) test, which analyzes the health of your uterus and fallopian tubes. This x-ray exam can help determine if there are any blockages that may hinder your eggs from passing throgh your tubes into the uterus for fertilization and implantation.
As previously stated, it is crucial that women have a normal ovarian reserve to qualify for IUI treatment. There are other treatment options your doctor can recommend if you have poor quality eggs or a low ovarian reserve. Typically after the age of 40, your chances of conceiving drop dramatically. IUI is not recommended for anyone over the age of 40.
Ready for IUI?
IUI is a popular infertility treatment option due to its lower cost, fewer side effects and fewer health risks. 3-6 IUI cycles are recommended before moving on to a more aggressive treatment such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). After completing 6 cycles of IUI, your chances of conceiving decrease dramatically.
If you’re looking to get pregnant and think IUI may be the right treatment for you, talk to your doctor to see if it’s the right fit.