Artificial Insemination, also known as Intrauterine insemination (IUI), is a relatively painless procedure performed right in our office.
We first obtain a semen sample either from a partner or donor in order to do the artificial insemination. Fresh semen is first washed and spun in a test tube to allow the most active sperm to swim through a layer of filtering media. The resulting pellet at the bottom of the tube that contains mainly motile sperm is then resuspended in a special fluid to invigorate the sperm and make them ready for intrauterine insemination (also called IUI or artificial insemination.
Sperm have to normally travel through the vagina and cervix before finally entering the uterus and up into the fallopian tubes. By directly injecting the concentrated sperm, we essentially make the journey for the sperm to travel much shorter, increasing the chances of more sperm encountering the ovulated egg in the fallopian tube.
Artificial Insemination may be prescribed in the cases of:
- Unexplained infertility
- Ovulation issues
- Problems with sperm delivery (male factor infertility)
- Cervical stenosis or abnormalities
- Third party reproduction
Fertility medications that cause the ovaries to mature several eggs at once may be used in conjunction with IUI.
IUI Success Rates
Whether an IUI is successful varies greatly depending on the underlying cause of infertility, the age of our patient, and her response to fertility medications. IUI works best in patients with unexplained infertility, producing almost double the pregnancy rate over no treatment.
IUI doesn’t work very well for men with low sperm production or who have slight abnormalities in their sperm. Women who have severe fallopian tube problems, moderate to severe endometriosis, or a history of pelvic (lower belly) infections will most likely see better success with In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
Chances at success increase with each IUI attempt.