What is Intra-Uterine Insemination (I.U.I.)
Intra-Uterine Insemination is another form of Ovulation Induction. With this treatment, either the partner’s or donor sperm is used.
It is a simple treatment and is carried out monthly, over three to four cycles. IUI treatment is offered to some clients where a sperm factor may be affecting fertility. There is a modest cost associated with this treatment and it can save some clients the additional expense of IVF treatment.
What does I.U.I. Treatment involve?
With IUI treatment, specialised medication (in the form of tablets or self- injections) is used to stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs.
An ultrasound scan is performed usually on day 10 or 12 of the menstrual cycle and another medication (HCG) is used to trigger release of the egg (ovulation) at the optimum time.
The IUI procedure is scheduled for 24-36 hours following this injection and takes place in the clinic.
On the day of the planned procedure, the sperm sample is prepared in the laboratory 1 hour prior to the IUI procedure. The sperm is drawn into a fine catheter and inserted into the uterus. This maximises the chance of pregnancy occurring, as both the egg(s) and sperm are in the reproductive tract at the same time.
When is IUI Treatment Recommended?
Intra-Uterine Insemination is recommended for clients in the followings cases:
- Mild sperm problems.
- Male sperm antibodies.
- Unexplained infertility.
- Cervical problems.
- Psycho-sexual difficulties.
What is the success rate for IUI treatment?
The average success rate for Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI) using partner sperm is 15-20% per cycle– with the majority of women conceiving in the first two to three cycles.
The success rate using Donor Sperm is 20-25% per treatment cycle. Most clients may complete 2-3 cycles of Donor IUI treatment with over 50% of these clients achieving a pregnancy.
The female age is the most significant factor as success rates decline from age 40. If not successful after 3 or 4 cycles, the consultant will discuss progressing to donor IVF.