Intrauterine insemination is a natural fertility treatment that may increase chance of pregnancy in couples who fail or have difficulty in conception. IUI can also be preferred for single women, who use donor sperm, or couples with male-factor infertility, such as low sperm count. The procedure requires office conditions.
What are Indications of Intrauterine Insemination?
Intrauterine insemination is preferred for following patients and conditions;
- Women who cannot conceive despite regular intercourse without any birth control method for 1 year
- Women who fail to conceive, although infertility tests are within normal ranges,
- Women who are followed up and treated for 4 to 5 months regarding ovaries, resulting in failure
- Women with unhealthy cervical secretion,
- Patients with vaginismus,
- Patients with anti-sperm antibody,
- Men with any problem in sperm analysis,
On the other hand, patients, who seek IUI, should also meet certain health criteria.
- Normal ovarian reserve,
- Properly functioning ovaries,
- Patent Fallopian Tubes
- Healthy womb
- Sperm with normal structure,
- Sufficient sperm count and motility for IUI
Success rate of IUI decreases in patients, who cannot meet these criteria.
How is intrauterine insemination performed?
Monitoring for intrauterine insemination is started on Day 2 or 3 of the menstrual cycle.
For this purpose;
- Patients use oral tablet or a medication is injected to stimulate maturation of eggs for 1 to 3 weeks and the development is checked with ultrasound at certain intervals.
- Egg sacs are called ‘follicle’. Follicles should measure 18 to 20 mm on average to ensure ovulation.
- hCG is injected when follicles are sufficiently mature and thus, ovulation is stimulated.
- Sperms are treated and washed at Andrology laboratory approximately 34 to 36 hours later and sperms with best motility are transferred into womb with a cannula. Since fresh sperm should be used for intrauterine insemination, sperm sample should be collected in the morning of the IUI day.
- Sperm is expected to fertilize the egg, resulting in an embryo that should implant to the uterine wall.
- Thus, pregnancy occurs.
Intrauterine insemination lasts for 15 days on average. The procedure is checked with ultrasound twice or three times throughout this interval.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it a painful procedure?
Intrauterine insemination has no difference from a normal gynecological exam. It does not require anesthesia and it is a pain-free procedure. The patient may resume a routine daily life following 15 minutes of resting.
How many times can IUI be attempted?
Rate of pregnancy per menstrual cycle is 5 to 15 percent for every IUI. Success rate increases, if number of sperms with good motility is higher. Number of motile sperms should be above 10 million per ml to obtain good outcomes.
The procedure can be tried maximum twice or three times. Following 3 attempts, success rate decreases. Following this stage, patients are usually recommended in vitro fertilization therapy.
When does pregnancy occur following intrauterine insemination?
Pregnancy can be expected and verified with pregnancy test approximately 12-14 days after the intrauterine insemination.
How about conception following IU?
After conception is achieved, patients are supervised as usually. Extra supervision is not required.