When fertilization of the egg is a problem, intrauterine insemination (IUI) may be the solution. In this treatment, the sperm is placed directly into the uterus during the time of ovulation. The procedure takes only a few minutes and discomfort is minimal. You may be given fertility medicine to help stimulate the ovulation period to increase the chances of fertilization.
Under normal circumstances, sperm have a distance to travel to reach the egg and must do so within a certain time frame for fertilization to take place. IUI shortens the distance and time for a sperm to travel up the fallopian tube. It also makes fertilization easier.
How Does IUI Work?
IUI is performed at the time of ovulation. Medication may be required to stimulate ovulation. Careful monitoring allows the doctor to determine the time at which the eggs have reached maturity. When the LH hormone increases, ovulation is about to occur. The IUI procedure will be performed a day or two after the hormone increases.
The sperm sample must be prepared and separated from the seminal fluid. Using a catheter, it is then inserted directly into the uterus. The increased number of sperm cells introduced into the uterus maximizes the possibility of conception.
How Successful is IUI?
At this time, there is not a fertility procedure that is 100% effective. All procedures are affected by unique variables. In IUI, many things are factored into the success of the procedure. Success rates can be as high as 20% per cycle when the IUI procedure is performed every month. Important factors to consider are the age of the woman, the reason for infertility and if fertility drugs were used. There are other variables as well.
The pregnancy rates using the IUI procedure are not as high as those using IVF. At the same time, IUI is a less invasive and more affordable option. Contact our office to schedule a consultation appointment with one of our doctors, and learn more about the process and your options.