intrauterine insemination (iui)

What is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI), also known as artificial insemination, is a medical procedure that is used to treat some cases of infertility. During IUI, specially washed and concentrated semen is placed directly into the uterus around the time a woman is ovulating. It can significantly increase the chances of conception.

What is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Three ways IUI Improves the Chances of Conception

  1. Decrease the Travel Time of the Sperm: An IUI decreases the travel time for the sperm to reach the egg.
  2. Increase Amount of Sperm to Female Reproductive System: An IUI helps larger numbers of sperm reach high into the female reproductive tract.
  3. Synchronizes the Sperm and the Egg: An IUI will help to synchronizes the timing of the sperm and the egg when done at the right time.

Conditions Treated by IUI

IUI can be used as a fertility treatment on its own, or in combination with other treatments. It is most commonly combined with ovulation induction, in which medication is used to induce ovulation, or superovulation, which stimulates the release of multiple eggs in one month.

On its own, IUI can be an effective treatment for many kinds of male factor fertility problems. When combined with ovulation induction or superovulation, IUI can treat many causes of infertility including:

  • Ovarian dysfunction: the irregular release of eggs from the ovaries
  • Endometriosis: painful inflammation of uterine tissue that has migrated outside of the uterus
  • Cervical factor infertility: the partial or complete blockage of the cervical canal, which prevents sperm from getting into the uterus
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome: a common hormonal disorder found in women
  • Unexplained infertility: diagnosed when all other testing is normal. In these cases, IUI combined with ovulation induction or superovulation can as much as double the chance of pregnancy.

Success Rate of IUI

There are many factors that can impact the success rate, including the age of the female partner, the male sperm count, and the number of mature follicles. It is essential that you have at least one fallopian tube that is open so that the egg is able to meet the sperm. Your doctor may order additional testing to confirm that the fallopian tubes are open before having an IUI.

It is important to speak with your Aspire physician about whether IUI is an option for you and their expected success rate. Based on the results of your cycle, or if the IUI treatment is not successful within a few cycles, your physician may suggest moving on to a different type of treatment.

What Are The Risks of IUI?

There are minimal risks related to having an IUI procedure. There is a slight risk of the woman developing an infection in the uterus or fallopian tubes from the catheter or sperm sample. However, this is very rare. Your Aspire physician and fertility nurse will explain more about what to expect after the IUI and what symptoms to watch out for.

How Much Does IUI Cost?

IUI costs are significantly less than that of IVF, but may vary depending on the individual case. In many cases, IUI may be covered by your health insurance benefits. If you do have access to fertility treatment, you can receive care with Aspire because we accept all health insurance providers. Our financial associates can help you explore your insurance coverage.

What to Expect During Artificial Insemination

An IUI is a very simple procedure and takes only a few minutes. Once the doctor has determined that the female partner who will be inseminated is close to ovulation, she may be instructed to take a final trigger injection. This causes the eggs to mature and controls when ovulation will occur.

The male partner will come in at his appointment time and produce a sperm sample. Alternatively, a frozen sample or donor sperm sample can be used. The sperm will be washed, sorted and prepared for the insemination.

The female partner will also come in at her appointment time and be escorted to the examination room. She will be asked to undress from the waist down and place a drape over her lap. Together, the patient and doctor will verify that the sperm sample is the correct one using several different identifiers. We are both proud and excited to offer the RI Witness solution to our patients. Aspire Fertility is the only clinic in Texas to use this technology, which uses Radio Frequency Identity Tags to track every patient’s eggs, sperm, and embryos. This offers you peace of mind, knowing that the correct sample is linked to you and used throughout your treatment.

During the actual insemination, the doctor will insert a speculum into the vagina to visualize the cervix. The cervical canal will be cleaned off and a small catheter will be inserted through the cervix and into the uterus. You may feel a slight cramp when this happens; many women don't feel anything at all. The doctor will then inject the sperm through the catheter. The catheter and speculum will be removed and you will be allowed to rest for several minutes. You can go back to work right after your appointment.

Your fertility nurse and physician will review further instructions with you before you leave the office.

Schedule a Consultation

Sit down with one of our doctors to see exactly what sets Aspire apart from other clinics. Get in touch with us today to schedule an appointment! You can email Aspire with any questions, schedule an appointment at either clinic online, or call the Houston Clinic at (713) 425-3003 and the Dallas Clinic at (214) 414-3806.