What is IUI?
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a type of artificial insemination. It is a procedure for treating infertility. Sperm that have been washed and concentrated are placed directly in your uterus around the time your ovary releases one or more eggs to be fertilized.
How long does IUI take to get pregnant?
Since insemination occurs during ovulation, it takes approximately two weeks after the procedure to determine if the treatment is successful after a positive pregnancy test.
Who can use the IUI procedure?
IUI is a non-invasive and more affordable procedure compared to more invasive fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization. It is common in situations like:
- Unexplained infertility
- Low sperm count
- Decreased sperm motility
- Mild endometriosis
- When a couple wants to avoid passing a genetic condition to the child
- A single woman who wants to conceive
- Issues with the cervix or cervical mucus
- Problems with erection or ejaculation
The IUI treatment depends on your cycle and should start on the first day of your period. Your doctor will use ultrasound and bloodwork to monitor your menstrual cycle for about 12-14 days. This is to ensure that there's an egg maturing correctly, ready for ovulation. When an egg is mature, it breaks free from the ovary and begins its journey through the fallopian tubes for fertilization. The monitoring leads to the actual IUI, which happens on ovulation day. Your sperm donor or male partner provides a semen sample that is 'washed' to prepare it for IUI. Healthy sperm is picked from the seminal fluid and inserted into your uterus using a thin catheter, leaving fertilization to happen as it would in a natural cycle. It swims toward and hopefully penetrates the egg.
Intrauterine insemination is a non-invasive fertility treatment that can be successful in some situations. It’s a good starting point for you if you have ovulatory dysfunction or unexplained infertility. It's also effective if your partner has mild male factor infertility. The procedure's success rate depends on many factors, mainly your age, diagnosis, and timing.