Intrauterine insemination is an effective fertility treatment
When many patients think of fertility treatments, in vitro fertilization is often the first one that comes to mind. However, in most cases, IVF isn’t the first resort for the physicians at TFC-San Antonio. Depending on the cause of your infertility, our San Antonio fertility center may recommend other treatments, such as intrauterine insemination, or IUI.
What is intrauterine insemination?
Intrauterine insemination, or artificial insemination, is a process in which a fertility specialist places a small volume of highly concentrated, rapidly swimming sperm into a woman’s uterus, on or around the day that she is going to ovulate. The goal of IUI is to get the best sperm closer to the egg, increasing the odds that the sperm will fertilize the egg in the fallopian tube.
Although a woman can undergo an unmedicated IUI cycle, the physicians at our San Antonio fertility center typically prescribe fertility medications, such as clomiphene citrate (Clomid), letrozole (Femara) or injectable gonadotropins, to stimulate the ovaries before the procedure.
- Unmedicated IUI cycles produce pregnancy rates of 6% to 10%.
- Clomid/IUI cycles produce pregnancy rates of 8% to 12%.
- Gonadotropin/IUI cycles produce pregnancy rates of 15% to 25%.
Before the IUI procedure, the male partner provides a fresh semen sample for the andrology laboratory. When donor sperm is used, the frozen, previously quarantined specimen is thawed just prior to use. In the San Antonio IVF lab, our andrologist examines the specimen under a microscope to determine its concentration, motility and morphology. The andrologist then washes and prepares the sample, separating the active sperm from the inactive sperm and seminal fluid. All of the active sperm are placed into a small catheter for intrauterine insemination.
During the IUI procedure, the woman lies on her back on an examination table, and her physician places a speculum into her vagina. A small, thin tube is then used to deliver the prepared sperm sample through the woman’s vagina and cervix into the inside of her uterus. The procedure takes less than five minutes, but the fertility specialist will ask the woman to lie still for approximately 10 minutes after the IUI has been performed. After that time, she can resume all of her normal activities.
There are many reasons to consider IUI
Although there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” fertility treatment, our San Antonio fertility center has found that IUI can help in a variety of situations.
- Women who have unexplained infertility
- Women with a cervix that is not functioning normally
- Men who have a low sperm count or low motility
- Women and couples who have not been successful with other fertility treatments
If you have questions about intrauterine insemination, please contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our caring fertility specialists can evaluate whether IUI may be a good option to help you build a family.
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