Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the process of placing prepared sperm directly into the female uterus at the correct time of the menstrual cycle to try to achieve a pregnancy.
What is IUI, and who is it for?
IUI is the process of placing prepared sperm directly into the female uterus at the correct time of the menstrual cycle to try to achieve a pregnancy. It is important to note that the fallopian tubes must be open for the treatment to work and therefore IUI can be successful if no other fertility issues have been identified. This treatment may be recommended to heterosexual patients who have been trying to conceive for some time but do not want to have IVF or those who have difficulties with sexual intercourse. It might also be beneficial where there is a mild sperm issue, as the sperm preparation steps help to isolate the healthiest sperm for insemination. It might also be recommended to women with ovulation issues.
IUI treatment with donor sperm can be offered to various patient groups. It may be required by couples for whom the male partner has no sperm present in the ejaculate or who carry a genetic or other condition that may be transmissible. It may also be required by single women or those in female same-sex relationships.
How does IUI work?
The patient receiving treatment will be scanned at scheduled points in their menstrual cycle to determine the optimal time to perform the IUI. This may involve taking medication and/ or an injection, or the IUI may be done in a natural cycle using no medication, depending on the patient and their medical history. On the day of insemination, the patient’s partner will produce a sperm sample which is then analysed under the microscope and prepared for treatment.
If the sample has been previously frozen, such as when using donor sperm, this will be thawed and prepared in a similar way. At the time of insemination, the patient will have a speculum inserted into the vagina to clearly visualise the cervix. A fine catheter will then be passed through the cervix, and the prepared sperm will be pushed through the catheter into the womb.
A pregnancy test is taken two weeks after the procedure. If the test is positive, a scan will be arranged two weeks later to determine the viability of the pregnancy. If it is negative, the patient will be advised to stop the medication, and a period will occur.
Why is IUI important?
IUI is a low-risk and minimally invasive treatment that provides patients with a chance of success and it is less expensive than IVF treatment.
When is IUI recommended?
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment in which sperm is placed directly into a woman’s uterus to increase the chances of fertilisation and subsequent pregnancy. IUI is often recommended as a less invasive option than IVF/ICSI, as well as in the following scenarios:
- Unexplained Infertility
- Male Factor Infertility
- Difficulties with intercourse
- Cervical issues
- Ovulation issues
- Mild Edometriosis
- Donor Sperm
- Same sex female couples
- Single women
How successful is IUI?
At Bridge Clinic London we pride ourselves in having a multidisciplinary team that is committed to helping you achieve your dreams of starting a family. We will give you all the support that you need at every stage of your journey. The treatment you receive will always be designed around your individual needs.
The chances of success very much depend on the age of the woman at the time of treatment. It is important to remember that success rates can have their limitations when you compare them with your own experience or diagnosis.
- A consultation with one of our clinicians to plan for the treatment
- All required screening blood tests (minimum Hepatitis B and C, HIV and Rubella)
- A teaching session with the member of the nursing team to
- teach drug administration
- support you with the consenting process
- A baseline scan
- Monitoring scans as required
- Sperm preparation
- Intrauterine insemination
- Pregnancy scan if applicable