Many people have heard of artificial insemination, also known as intrauterine insemination or IUI, but don't entirely understand how it is done. If you are considering this form of infertility treatment, read on to learn more about IUI.
Placing the Sperm
The IUI process is when a very thin flexible catheter is inserted through the cervix and washed sperm is injected into the uterus.
Most women consider IUI to be fairly painless, along the same lines as having a pap smear. There can be some cramping afterward, but often what is felt is ovulation-related rather than from the IUI. The catheter often isn't felt because the cervix is already slightly open for ovulation.
You will be given instructions on how long beforehand and afterwards to abstain from intercourse, and any resting periods after the IUI.
When Should it be Done?
Ideally an IUI should be performed within 6 hours either side of ovulation (for male factor infertility, some doctors believe after ovulation is better) with the sperm waiting for the egg. When timing is based on an hCG injection, the IUIs are usually done between 24 and 48 hours later.
Typical timing would be to have a single IUI at about 36 hours post-hCG. If two IUIs are scheduled, they are usually spaced at least 12 hours apart between 24 and 48 hours after the hCG.
If no use of drugs is done, then doctors will base timing of IUI on a natural LH surge. In that case, a single IUI at 36 hours is the norm, but doing them at 24 hours is also quite common.
Who is Suited to IUI?
IUI can help on Clomid cycles where cervical mucus is a problem, and IUI increases the chance of success on injectible cycles no matter what the sperm count. It does make sense to try IUI if you can and haven’t had success with intercourse.
Success and Costs
The success rates are reported to be just under 6% and as high as 26% per cycle. The low statistics are with one follicle, while multiple follicles resulted in as high 26% success.
Costs for the actual insemination procedure alone can run anywhere from $120 to $400 each, with some clinics advising two inseminations per cycle.
Infertility treatments can be overwhelming, especially when you're not sure just what to expect. Help other women learn more about this infertility treatment by going to Pregnancy Stories and sharing your experience.