What is intra uterine insemination?

Intra uterine insemination is a common ART (Artificial Reproductive Technology) procedure that involves injecting “prepared” or “washed” sperm directly into the woman’s womb (during her fertile window) to facilitate fertilization.

Who should undergo treatment with IUI?

  • Women with ovulation problems
  • Problems in the cervix preventing pregnancy
  • Lower sperm count
  • Male ejaculation dysfunction
  • Unexplained infertility

How does IUI improve fertility?

  • More than one egg is released per cycle due to ovarian stimulation drugs.
  • Healthy sperms are separated and injected directly into the uterine cavity, thus cervical factors of infertility are bypassed (thick mucous plug , anti- sperm antibodies, etc )
  • Ovulation is confirmed prior to doing an IUI thus improving chances of pregnancy.

Success rate keeps increasing with every cycle.20-35 % pregnancy rate can be expected per IUI cycle

What are the basic requirements for a successful IUI?

The fallopian tubes must be open and healthy. (Confirmed either by performing a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) or a diagnostic hystero-laparoscopy.)

The husband/donor sperm count must be fairly within normal limits.(Diagnosed by a semen analysis)

Hormone levels should be within normal limits (FSH / LH / Prolactin / TSH ). There must be a confirmed ovulation.(Diagnosed by an ultrasound or ovulation kit.)

Age of the mother should be below 35 years.

How is IUI performed?

Drugs will be given from day 3 of the menstrual cycle for ovarian stimulation. Ultrasound monitoring will be done from day 9 of the menstrual cycle to monitor follicular growth. IUI will be performed around the time of ovulation which may correspond to day 16.

On the day of IUI , the husband’s semen sample will be treated to separate the rapidly moving sperm from the slower moving sperm .These “washed” sperm will be placed into a container and handed over to the gynecologist.

The doctor will insert a speculum into the vagina. A small catheter will be loaded with the “washed” sperm and introduced into the uterus.

The whole process only takes a few minutes and usually painless.