Intrauterine Insemination

November 12, 2012

Intrauterine Insemination

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a popular infertility treatment, especially in women under the age of 40 years. IUI procedure involves placing specially washed sperm cells directly into the uterus of the woman with the help of a small tube.

IUI Costs and Uses

Most infertility experts consider IUI procedure as the first alternative to fertility drugs. It may be especially beneficial in treating infertility associated with low sperm counts in males. IUI can also be used in women with cervical mucus problems as well as to treat cases of unexplained infertility. The procedure is easy to perform and may cost about $300 to 900 compared to in-vitro fertilization treatments that cost thousands of dollars. You should talk to your insurance company before undergoing the procedure to check if they would cover the costs related to the procedure.

IUI , however, are not effective in couples with fallopian tube blockage, severe tube damage, menopause, endometriosis and severe male factor infertility.

IUI Mechanism

Most women undergoing fertility treatments take drugs such as Clomid to improve their chances. They also use ovulation prediction kits to track their menstrual cycle. The IUI procedure is performed when your Luteinizing hormone levels surge. Your doctor may ask your partner to collect his seminal fluid. He may then wash the sperms in a special solution to concentrate them, and place them directly into your uterus by passing a thin tube via your cervix. The treatment is painless, although occasional cramping may occur.

IUI Success Rates

Recent studies suggest that only 4 percent women got pregnant per cycle without the use of fertility drugs. However, 8 to 17 percent women got pregnant when they combined IUI procedure with fertility drugs. The success rate of the IUI procedure also depends on the timing. It is important to remember that the egg remains viable for only 12 to 24 hours after ovulation, while the sperm is active and alive for only a few hours. The age of the woman may also play an important role in the success of IUI procedure. The technique has not been successful in inducing pregnancy in women over the age of 40.

Experts believe that IUI is a reasonable initial treatment and should be tried for about 3 months in women who are ovulating. The success rate of IUI procedure is much lower after that. It is best to move on to other techniques such as the in-vitro fertilization after that.

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