Improve Your Fertility Through Intrauterine Insemination
Intrauterine insemination (IUI), which is used to treat infertility, involves placing washed and concentrated sperm directly in the woman’s uterus. This increases the sperm’s ability to fertilize the egg and result in a natural pregnancy. Although the process is a bit more complicated than previous methods of artificial insemination, IUI typically has a higher success rate. Most doctors recommend IUI (or another form of artificial insemination) before trying in vitro fertilization (IVF) because it is less expensive and typically has better success rates. Our doctors can determine if you are a good candidate for intrauterine insemination through a consultation at our Omaha, NE, office. Contact our office today to schedule your first appointment.
Is Intrauterine Insemination Right for You?
Intrauterine insemination is an effective fertility treatment for many couples. Couples with male-factor infertility such as a low sperm count or weak sperm can benefit from IUI. The procedure is also beneficial for same-sex couples and single women. Women with mild cases of endometriosis may also benefit from IUI. Ideal candidates are women in their 20s or early 30s. If you are over the age of 35, we may recommend combining IUI with fertility drugs to improve your chances of success.
Although the process is a bit more complicated than previous methods of artificial insemination, IUI typically has a higher success rate.
Unfortunately, IUI is not for everyone. If you are suffering from any of the following, you will need to consider alternative treatment options.
- Severe endometriosis
- Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes
- Serious scarring affecting any of the reproductive organs
- Susceptibility to infection
- Severe male infertility
If you are not a good candidate for IUI, our doctors may suggest IVF as an alternative.
What to Expect During the IUI Procedure
Typically, all artificial insemination procedures take place when you are ovulating. Your doctor will carefully monitor your ovulation cycle through ultrasounds and blood tests. Ovulation typically occurs about two weeks after the first day of your period. You should abstain from sex for two to three days prior to ovulation to improve sperm count.
The male partner will the provide a sperm sample, which we will then wash. This process separates the semen from the seminal fluid to increase sperm concentration. Same-sex couples, single women, and couples where the male partner is sterile, can use donor sperm. We test all donor sperm for genetic defects.
To place the washed sperm, your doctor will insert a catheter through the cervix and into the uterus. She will then push the sperm through the catheter and into the uterus. The insertion process typically takes less than a half hour to complete.
Risks and Benefits of IUI
While IUI can significantly improve your chances of conceiving, there are some risks. If you combine your IUI treatment with fertility drugs, you increase your chance of a multiple pregnancy (twins or triplets). A multiple pregnancy carries the risk of miscarriage or premature birth.
Patients who do not use fertility drugs with their IUI treatment have very few risks. Overall, IUI is one of the more affordable fertility treatment options and generally has success rates between 15-20%.
Find Out if IUI is Right for You
If you are struggling with infertility, contact Heartland Center for Reproductive Medicine, PC today to schedule a consultation. Our doctors can help you find the right treatment method to help you conceive and begin building your family.