What is IUI?
Intrauterine insemination involves placing a concentrated semen sample in the uterine cavity to improve the chances of conception. IUI is a form of artificial insemination.
Intrauterine insemination serves three basic purposes:
- It gets a high concentration of sperm into the female reproductive tract, increasing the chance of sperm reaching the egg to achieve fertilization.
- It helps to get higher number of sperm high into the female reproductive tract, which helps overcome mild to moderate male fertility problems. With the help of our office and the use of an ovulation predictor kit, your fertility specialist is able to synchronize timing to optimize your chances of becoming pregnant.
Additionally, when combined with ovulation induction or superovulation, IUI can treat many causes of infertility. Among them:
- Ovarian dysfunction (inability to ovulate normally on your own)
- Infertility associated with endometriosis (a painful inflammatory condition of the female pelvis)
- Cervical factor infertility (related to prior surgery)
- Unexplained infertility (infertility in which the exact cause cannot be identified).
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (a common female endocrine disorder)
Intrauterine insemination offers a multi-faceted approach to augmenting a couple’s fertility. For example, male infertility is a factor in about a third of all infertile couples, usually attributable to low sperm count, abnormal sperm or motility problems. By concentrating more sperm in the female reproductive tract, the odds of achieving a pregnancy increase.
The sperm are concentrated using a multi-step process called sperm washing. The technique removes excess seminal fluid that can cause cramping or pain if it is not washed away at the time of intrauterine insemination.
In other cases, inadequate cervical secretions and antibodies may act as barriers to sperm entering the female reproductive tract and penetrating the egg. IUI places the sperm beyond those barriers, again increasing the chances of fertilization and pregnancy.
IUI is an effective treatment for both male fertility problems and couples with unexplained infertility. In couples with unexplained infertility where all other testing is normal, intrauterine insemination (IUI) combined with ovulation induction/superovulation can double a couple’s chance for pregnancy.
Most physicians recommend three to six IUI attempts before moving on to more aggressive treatment.
Contact us for more information about Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), including the IUI procedure.