Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine insemination (IUI), a type of artificial insemination, is a reproductive option that helps a broad spectrum of potential parents build healthy, happy families.
Even if you haven’t had fertility challenges, you’ve likely heard of artificial insemination, a process involving the insertion of sperm directly into the uterus to fertilize an egg and achieve pregnancy.
What is IUI?
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) introduces sperm into the uterus. This process differs slightly from artificial insemination because a physician performs the procedure, and the sperm is injected in proximity to the egg. Inserting sperm into the uterus means they only have to swim a short distance and face far fewer obstructions.
IUI can be used to address reproductive challenges such as male factor infertility, endometriosis, obstructive cervical mucus, or unexplained infertility. However, it is also frequently used for born-female couples or single parents.
The IUI process is often performed with fertility medications, though they are not always necessary. IUI is always performed with clinical support and uses washed sperm, a form of assisted reproductive technology (ART).
Sperm washing is a laboratory process that removes the seminal proteins, non-living sperm, and other debris. This process leaves only active, healthy sperm that are better able to initiate fertilization.
The sperm is then inserted into the uterus through the vagina using a thin catheter. There is minimal discomfort, though mild spotting is very common. The procedure typically takes less than one hour, including a 45-minute rest period that allows the sperm to work towards the egg.
What are the advantages of IUI?
IUI is a relatively quick procedure that can address a wide variety of fertility issues. These include:
- Infertility in men. The IUI process effectively optimizes sperm quality in male partners with low sperm count or sperm with low motility.
- Cervical obstructions. IUI bypasses the cervix, which may obstruct the path of the sperm due to its shape, scar tissue, or mucus.
- Ovulation challenges. IUI might be appropriate for women with certain ovulatory factors, including low egg count.
- Unexplained infertility. When there is no diagnosed cause of infertility, often the first treatment stage involves ovulation stimulating medications and IUI.
IUI is also an effective and efficient option for families in the LGBTQ community.
Why should I consider IUI?
If you have experienced recurrent pregnancy loss or have failed to become pregnant after 12 months of attempts, IUI is an excellent initial treatment option.
At RGI, we are proud of our high success rates and our unparalleled record of delivering compassionate, personalized treatment options for our diverse population of parents and parents-to-be. We are confident that we will help you achieve a healthy, full-term pregnancy.
If you think IUI could be the right fertility solution for you, please contact the reproductive specialists at Reproductive Gynecology & Infertility at 866-537-2461 for an in-depth consultation.