Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is an excellent fertility treatment option for many couples experiencing fertility issues. IUI is an option for single women or same-sex partners who want a baby. If you’re considering this fertility treatment, this is what you should know.
How does intrauterine insemination help with fertility?
Intrauterine insemination, or IUI, can be more cost-effective and less invasive than other fertility treatments, making it a common first choice for people struggling to conceive. It can also be done in combination with other fertility treatments and medications.
For IUI, semen is collected at a clinic and then washed in a special process to separate out and concentrate viable sperm. These sperm are inserted directly into the woman’s uterus near the time of ovulation. This approach can help treat a number of fertility challenges associated with male factor infertility, female factor infertility, or both. It also provides options for same-sex couples, single women, or couples who are not infertile but who have sexual intercourse rarely.
At The Fertility Institute, we screen our IUI candidates carefully to ensure that IUI is a good option for them. Although no fertility treatment is guaranteed to result in a successful pregnancy, your odds of success do depend on your personal health factors and fertility challenges. By using a thorough selection process, we help our patients find the best fertility approach for them. Our team clearly explains all IUI benefits and risks to those who are considering the treatment, as well as detailing their approximate chances for successful conception. And, if other options are more likely to result in success, we are honest in saying so.
In the following video, our own Dr. Lu talks about the typical success rates of intrauterine insemination for different types of patients.
What are intrauterine insemination benefits?
Intrauterine insemination is a cost-effective alternative to more expensive fertility treatments. It’s also flexible. It can be performed either with the female partner’s natural ovulation cycle or in combination with fertility drugs.
IUI is also a minimally-invasive procedure. Unlike other treatments that require ongoing management, IUI can be done quickly in one session.
Am I a good candidate for IUI?
Those who often turn to IUI for fertility challenges are often using donor sperm to become pregnant, women with mild to moderate endometriosis, women with cervical mucus problems, or women with semen allergies.
Further, patients with the best chances of IUI success usually have:
- Hormone levels within a healthy range
- Sufficient quality eggs in their ovaries
- Fallopian tubes that are in good health and not blocked
- A male partner with sufficient sperm count or donor sperm
- Reasonable expectations for the outcome of the treatment
You may not be a good candidate for IUI if you have any of the following factors:
- Severe endometriosis
- Severe male factor infertility
- A history of pelvic adhesions
- Tubal disease
- A low ovarian reserve
At FINO, we recommend that women who are 38 and older should consider in vitro fertilization (IVF) if IUI does not result in a successful pregnancy after three treatments.
What if I’m not a good candidate?
IVF is most often recommended for patients who are poor candidates for IUI. These may include couples whose fertility challenges can be attributed to severe male factor infertility or those who have undergone multiple rounds of IUI without success.
You can learn more about in vitro fertilization here.
How does the intrauterine insemination process work?
If you are a good candidate for IUI, you should know that the procedure itself is fairly straightforward. Dr. Lu gives a detailed overview of preparing for IUI, the procedure itself, and what you can expect afterward in the following video.
Learn more about IUI
At The Fertility Institute, our foremost goal is to help our patients achieve their dream families. We do whatever we can to ensure those dreams become beautiful realities. For many, IUI represents a great option either as a first-line fertility treatment or in combination with other fertility approaches.
If you’re in Louisiana or one of our neighboring states, we welcome you to contact our team. We can schedule a consultation to help you discover your potential candidacy for IUI and answer any questions you have.