IUI (Intrauterine Insemination)
Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI) is a procedure by which specially prepared sperm is deposited inside the woman’s uterus bypassing the cervix at the time of ovulation. IUI is suitable to treat patients with at least one healthy fallopian tube and a healthy ovary. The patient must also be able to ovulate naturally. Also, IUI is suitable for men with deficient semen parameters. As it bypasses the cervix, so IUI is also used for cervical factor infertility, including abnormal cervical mucus, aberrant interactions due to antibodies against spermatozoa and other factors, cervical stenosis, cystic fibrosis with inspissated mucus and deficient mucus production secondary to surgical manipulation of the cervix. IUI can be performed during natural or stimulated cycles.
IUI must be timed critically because spermatozoa survive for a limited period in the female reproductive tract and oocytes are fertilizable for only 12 – 16 hours. Ovulation must be correctly timed. Specially prepared sperm are placed in the uterus.
IUI helps some form of male factor infertility with conception rates of more than 40% after three cycles in women below 36 years of age. IUI helps men with varicoceles who have poor semen quality. Although less successful with oligoasthenoteratozoospermia, it still gives 7% pregnancies per cycle.
Success Rates with IUI:
With IUI, 21% pregnancy rate per cycle can be achieved. The pregnancy rate rises after several attempts. Good pregnancy rates depend on the correct identification of ovulation.
Risks with IUI:
Risks with IUI include Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) in approximately 1% of stimulation cycles. Other risks are multiple gestation and infection in the upper female genital tract.