Intrauterine Insemination, or IUI, mimics the natural insemination process during ovulation, yet it is artificially achieved when sperm is injected directly into the uterine cavity. This occurs during the most favorable point of the woman’s ovulation to encourage favorable results. IUI helps treat infertility caused by many reasons, such as a complication with sperm. In some cases, a man’s sperm doesn’t move well, may have low morphology, or there could be a low sperm count.
IUI can also be used if doctors haven’t found an explanation or cause for infertility. It also becomes an option when medical conditions, premature ejaculation or impotence prohibits a pregnancy from occurring. Intrauterine insemination can be done with sperm from a donor or using the partner’s sperm.
IUI is used to treat many causes of infertility, especially when there is a problem with the sperm, such as low sperm count or low motility (when sperm do not move well). IUI is commonly used as a first-line treatment for unexplained infertility.
IUI is also an option when the man is unable to ejaculate inside the woman’s vagina (because of impotence, premature ejaculation, or other medical conditions). This procedure can be performed with either your partner’s sperm or with sperm from a donor.
The female partner is usually prescribed ovulation-stimulating medications a few weeks before an IUI procedure. Then, at a pre-scheduled follow-up visit, your doctor will use ultrasound to monitor your eggs in order to determine an optimal time to schedule the IUI procedure. IUI is a quick office procedure that only takes a few minutes and involves minimal discomfort.
On the day of the IUI procedure, a semen sample will be washed by the lab to separate the semen from the seminal fluid and your doctor will use a catheter to insert the sperm directly into the uterus. A follow-up pregnancy blood test will be scheduled for a few weeks after the procedure and your doctor will call you with the results.
IUI is less expensive than in vitro fertilization (IVF) and is usually covered by insurance, making it an accessible, popular, and minimally invasive procedure. The average cost of an IUI cycle ranges from $900 – $2,000. Costs associated with IUI vary from practice to practice and insurance coverage may vary as well. Please be sure to meet with one of our financial counselors to have all your questions related to cost answered.
The intrauterine insemination procedure is typically done more than once to increase success rates but can be successful on the first try. The success rate is affected by the age of the female, the use of fertility medication, the underlying cause of infertility, and other factors. Compared with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) success rates, pregnancies through IUI are much lower. This option, though, is less expensive and much less invasive.
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