Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is an excellent fertility treatment option for many couples. The popular artificial insemination procedure, in which sperm are washed and inserted directly into the uterus, can be used as an effective treatment for fertility problems associated with male factor infertility, female factor infertility, or both. It is a cost-effective alternative to more expensive fertility treatments that can be performed either with the female partner’s natural cycle or in combination with fertility drugs.
At The Fertility Institute in New Orleans, IUI candidates are carefully screened to ensure that IUI is a viable option for them before they commit to treatment. Although no fertility treatment is guaranteed to result in successful pregnancy, the odds of success are highly dependent on the care with which candidates are selected. Our pioneering fertility experts are thorough and straightforward in explaining the benefits and risks of IUI to couples who are considering the treatment, as well as detailing their approximate chances for successful conception. If other options are more likely to result in success, we are honest in saying so. At our fertility clinic, our foremost goal is to help our patients achieve their dreams of expanding their families, and we will do whatever we can to make those dreams beautiful realities.
Determining Candidacy for IUI
Many of our patients are good candidates for IUI, including women who are using donor sperm to become pregnant, women with mild to moderate endometriosis, women with cervical mucus problems, and women with semen allergies. Some couples who are not infertile but who have sexual intercourse rarely and wish to conceive a child also turn to us for IUI.
In screening candidates for IUI, we often have to eliminate patients who:
- Have severe endometriosis
- Have severe male factor infertility
- Have a history of pelvic adhesions
- Have tubal disease
- Have a low ovarian reserve
- Have attempted IUI four to six times in the past without success
Suitable candidates for IUI will have:
- Hormone levels within a healthy range
- Sufficient quality eggs in their ovaries
- Fallopian tubes that are in good health and not blocked
- Male partner with sufficient sperm count or donor sperm
- Reasonable expectations for the outcome of the treatment, as successful pregnancy is not assured
Generally, if IUI does not result in a successful pregnancy after three or four attempts, we recommend that patients consider in vitro fertilization (IVF) instead. IVF is also the recommended alternative for many of the patients who are poor candidates for IUI, including couples whose difficulties conceiving can be attributed to severe male factor infertility. While severe male factor infertility does not necessarily preclude couples from undergoing IUI, it does significantly reduce their odds of success, making IVF the far preferable option.
In general, however, many patients who are good candidates for IUI may wish to consider at least a couple of attempts at becoming pregnant with this treatment before undergoing IVF, which is more expensive and involved.
Learn More about IUI Candidacy
To learn more about IUI candidacy, or to schedule a consultation to discover whether you are a good candidate for IUI treatment, please contact The Fertility Institute today.