Intrauterine insemination or IUI is a technique used to treat certain types of infertility. In this process, sperm is placed into the woman’s uterus at the time of ovulation. This helps to overcome the natural barriers faced by the sperm to reach the egg. It is the most common technique of artificial insemination and is the safest with few side effects. Hence it is considered as an initial form of treatment.
- If the semen sample has low sperm counts or sperm motility
- Sexual problems in male
- Hostile cervix which destroys the sperm
IUI can be performed using the husband’s sperm or donor sperm. In the case of husband inseminination, the specimen is produced at home or at the clinic or doctor’s office. The sperm is “washed” or separated. This helps to select the motile sperm and cleanse the sperm of potentially toxic chemicals to avoid adverse reactions in the uterus. It is then passed directly into the woman’s uterus at the time of ovulation.
You can wait for two weeks after the insemination procedure prior to testing for a pregnancy. The success of an IUI depends on factors such as fertility drugs administered along with the IUI improves the chances of conception compared to natural cycle IUI. But in such cases chances of multiple pregnancy (twins, triplets etc) is higher. Also using semen sample with higher sperm count can provide greater chances of success. A few cycles of IUI may be necessary to yield promising results. Be sure to check with your fertility specialist if IUI is the right treatment method for you.