Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

If you have tried for months to get pregnant without success or if you have unexplained infertility, you may need a little help. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) might be the right procedure to give you a head start on the conception process.

What is IUI?

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is one of the oldest forms of fertility treatment, and it is still successful today. During IUI, a catheter is placed into your uterus through which sperm will be injected during ovulation in order to encourage pregnancy. This process places the sperm closer to the egg, giving it a better chance of reaching its destination. The IUI procedure is performed in your doctor’s officer’s 

Sometimes IUI is preceded by ovulation induction, medication given to encourage your ovaries to release an egg. However, if you experience regular ovulation medication may not be necessary prior to your IUI procedure. 

If your partner has a low sperm count or you are a woman who is single or in a same-sex relationship, donor sperm can be used.

Am I a good candidate for IUI?

IUI can be successful for many couples, but it typically works best if your fertility factors are mild. Couples with the following conditions may benefit from IUI:

  • Unexplained infertility
  • Cervical factors
  • A blocked fallopian tube
  • Mild endometriosis
  • Mild male factor (low sperm count, decreased sperm motility)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is one of the oldest forms of fertility treatment, and it is still successful today.

Am I a good candidate for IUI?

IUI can be successful for many couples, but it typically works best if your fertility factors are mild. Couples with the following conditions may benefit from IUI:

  • Unexplained infertility
  • Cervical factors
  • A blocked fallopian tube
  • Mild endometriosis
  • Mild male factor (low sperm count, decreased sperm motility)

Is IUI painful?

IUI should not be painful. The procedure will feel similar to your annual exam, as a speculum is used to access your uterus. You may have mild cramping when the catheter is inserted, but symptoms should subside following the procedure.

What to expect after IUI

After your procedure, you will rest in your doctor’s office for 10-20 minutes, and then you will be able to return to work. You may experience some light cramping and spotting after the procedure from the catheter placement, but it is nothing to worry about, as it won’t affect your chances of getting pregnant.

You may also experience a feeling of wetness, but rest assured it is not the sperm dripping out. It is common for the catheter to loosen the large amount of cervical mucus present during ovulation.

Which is better IVF or IUI?

IUI and IVF (in vitro fertilization) are two very different procedures. IUI is minimally invasive and mimics traditional fertilization through intercourse. It is more affordable and requires less of a time commitment. 

IVF requires cycles of medication, egg retrieval, sperm retrieval or collection, fertilization of your egg(s) in a lab, and transfer of an embryo to your uterus at the right time in your cycle, followed by injections to maintain a uterine environment conducive to embryo growth.

If you are a good candidate for IUI, your doctor will typically recommend that you try it before IVF. They may recommend up to three cycles of IUI before resorting to IVF.

What are the chances of getting pregnant with IUI?

The odds of conceiving during an IUI cycle are up to 20%, which is around the same as through natural conception. However, for couples having difficulty conceiving, IUI may offer the boost necessary to allow sperm and egg to connect for fertilization. For these couples it is likely that IUI increases their odds over intercourse alone. If IUI is unsuccessful, IVF is still an option. 

Ready to talk fertility treatments?

Give us a call at 713-401-9000 to discuss the best option for your fertility. During your initial appointment, Dr. Stephan Krotz will give you a through exam in order to recommend the right treatment to help you grow your family.

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