Intrauterine insemination (IUI) – How Does IUI work?

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) involves a procedure in which the sperm are placed inside the uterus of a woman for facilitating fertilization. It is a fertility treatment which is done so that more sperms can reach the fallopian tubes. It starts by separating the fast moving sperm from the sluggish sperm. These fast moving sperm are only inserted in the uterus but they have to fertilize the eggs on their own. This procedure can be done with the sperm of the male partner or donor sperm. When it is done with the donor sperm, it is called donor insemination. This treatment is less effective as compared to IVF.

Intrauterine insemination

IUI is an option when there is low sperm count or the sperm are less mobile. It is a fertility treatment which is done when

  • The cause of infertility is unknown
  • There is any type of cervical problem
  • There is a cervical scar tissue that prevents the sperm from entering the uterus
  • Ejaculation dysfunction

The doctor will decide whether IUI is the right option for you or not. You are not recommended for IUI if

  • you have severe disease of the fallopian tubes
  • you have a history of pelvic infections
  • you have moderate to severe endometriosis

How does IUI work?

The doctor will give you the medicines for stimulating ovulation. The eggs are then carefully monitored to know when they get mature. IUI is performed during ovulation. The sperms are then inserted in the uterus. In this way more number of sperm can enter the uterus and the possibility of conception is also increased.

This is a very short procedure which is completed in a very short time and the women also feel minimal discomfort.

Benefits of IUI

IUI is only beneficial if

  • The male partner has very low sperm count or low sperm mobility.
  • You are unable for intercourse due to the reasons like partner’s premature ejaculation etc.
  • Your endometriosis is only mild.
  • There are unexplained fertility problems.

The fallopian tubes should be healthy and open. There must be no blockage in the tube. It is advised to have tubal patency test. IUI is not recommended if the tubes are blocked but if there is one working tube, IUI is possible.

Risks of IUI

There is a risk of having multiple pregnancies. This is because the women take fertility drugs. There is also a risk of infection after IUI.

How successful is IUI?

This procedure is not successful in every case.  If this procedure of IUI is repeated every month, the success chances are at least 20 percent per cycle. There are many other factors too that are very important. The factors include the age of a female and causes of infertility etc.

It is less expensive procedure and the pregnancy rate is also low as compared to IVF. If you are interested to have IUI treatment, consult your doctor to know if you are a good candidate of it or not.

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