IUI is a fertility treatment that takes sperm from your male partner or a sperm donor and transfers it to your uterus. The purpose of IUI is to increase the likelihood that fertilization will occur naturally. IUI is far less costly and less complex and invasive than in vitro fertilization (IVF).
IUI is used most often when the male partner has a low sperm count or decreased sperm motility, but it can also be a good option in women with:
It can also be an effective option for couples in which the male partner has problems with ejaculation or erection. It’s usually not a good choice for women with pelvic infections or endometriosis.
IUI usually begins with medications to stimulate ovulation. Then you’ll be closely monitored with blood tests designed to measure specific hormones to determine when your eggs are mature and ready for fertilization. The actual IUI procedure is performed as close to ovulation as possible. A semen sample is taken shortly before the IUI procedure, and the semen is washed and processed to separate the sperm from the rest of the semen.
Then Dr. Tureanu inserts the sperm into your uterus using a catheter (a slim hollow tube) to maximize the number of sperm that enter your uterus so your chances of fertilization and conception are increased. The IUI procedure only takes a few minutes, and most women experience little to no discomfort. Once the sperm are transferred to your uterus, you’ll be monitored for signs of pregnancy.
IUI is less invasive and less costly than IVF, but it does have a lower success rate compared to IVF. As with other fertility treatments, the success of IUI is based on several factors, including the cause of infertility, your age, and whether fertility drugs are used to promote ovulation. Your success will also be higher if you opt to have IUI performed on a monthly basis instead of having a single IUI procedure.