Getting started with IUI


IUI – good ole artificial insemination. This process started out fairly straightforward: some sperm in an injector-type device and you were done. Today, sperm is cleaned, specially selected and carefully placed in a prepared uterus. Now it’s called intrauterine insemination, or IUI.

Who uses IUI?

There are several types of fertility problems for which IUI is designed. If you have an allergy to sperm or if your partner has a particularly low viable sperm count or low sperm motility IUI can help get the sperm to the egg without removing the egg. For that 3% of couples with undefined or undetermined fertility issued, IUI can also be attempted as a possible remedy for infertility. If sperm count or motility is very, very low, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is preferred by doctors. This is where the egg is removed and the sperm is injected into the egg. Once fertilization is assured, the embryo is placed in the uterus.

How does it work?

Most women are given fertility drugs to improve the chances of fertilization. The drug is started at the beginning of your menstrual cycle to stimulate the ovaries to produce and release more than one mature egg. Now you wait to ovulate; this should take about a week. This can be detected with an ovulation kit or your doctor might perform an ultrasound in the office. Once ovulation occurs, a sperm sample is acquired, the sperm is “washed” so the healthiest sperm can be collected. Using a special catheter, your doctor puts the concentrated sperm directly into the uterus through the cervix in order to increase the odds of fertilization. You can take a pregnancy test two weeks later to see if the procedure was successful. Most women are not lucky on the first attempt. The average number of IUI cycles before pregnancy is three to six.

What determines success?

Success rates will depend on your and your partner’s age. Your particular fertility problem may also influence the success of the procedure. Most couples have a five to 20% chance of success with each cycle, closer to 20% if you take the fertility enhancing drugs.

Source: Baby Center


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