Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), also known as artificial insemination, may be an option for couples if the woman’s fallopian tubes are patent (no blockage) and the man’s sperm count is adequate. Although the success rate per treatment is lower with IUI than IVF-ICSI, IVF Michigan Fertility Center has a high rate of success in all of our assisted reproduction treatments.
What are the steps involved in an IUI treatment?
In an IUI cycle, a semen sample is taken, and the concentrated sperm is placed into the uterus near the time of ovulation. Medication may be prescribed to stimulate the ovaries.
Day 3 of the menstrual cycle:
An assessment is made through an ultrasound and blood test. Medication may be prescribed to stimulate the growth of multiple follicles in the ovaries. These follicles will hopefully develop to have mature eggs.
Day 8, 9 or 10:
Endometrial lining and follicle size are assessed through ultrasound to determine the date of the next visit.
Day 11, 12 or 13:
A trigger shot may be given to induce maturation of the egg within a scheduled time frame, and the IUI is timed accordingly.
Day 13, 14 or 15:
36 to 40 hours after the trigger shot, the IUI is carried out. A semen sample is provided and sperm is prepared, concentrated (washed) and placed in the uterus using a thin catheter.
*The above dates are an approximation of an average cycle.
Should I be considering IUI? Do I have any other options?
IUI is commonly used when fertility issues are related to unexplained infertility, mild endometriosis, low sperm count, ejaculation issues or decreased sperm mobility. IVF is recommended for most causes of infertility, including women over 35 years old, women with low egg supply, men with very low sperm count, men with very low sperm motility and abnormal morphology, women with tubal issues, and women with fertility disorders like endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
For patients younger than 38 years old with no previous fertility treatment, the suggested route is to proceed with two to three cycles of artificial insemination, followed by IVF. For some patients, starting with IVF would be a better option as time can be a critical factor in fertility.