Also known as artificial insemination, IUI treatment has helped couples conceive for generations. The original administration of artificial insemination dates back to the early 20th century. In the beginning days of this treatment, healthy sperm and a device resembling a turkey baster were used to make pregnancy happen. Today IUI treatment is far more sophisticated with even better results.
What Is IUI Treatment?
IUI treatment involves placing sperm in the uterus to encourage conception. Fresh sperm is taken at home or in a clinic, usually through masturbation. Typically, the sperm must get to the lab within an hour to be “washed” so it is free to chemicals and the strongest sperm are used. The sperm is carefully placed in a woman’s uterus and often she is told to lie down for 15 minutes to an hour. After an IUI treatment, women are able to resume normal activities.
Who Uses IUI Treatment?
Often IUI treatment is used when a man’s sperm has poor mobility and cannot travel to the egg for conception. It is also used in instances of low sperm count. Men with very low sperm count or mobility are typically advised to try ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) treatment. Sometimes couples with inexplicable fertility issues are advised to try IUI treatment.
Before, During and After IUI Treatment
In many cases, the physician advises the women to take a fertility drug prior to getting IUI treatment. The drug is taken at the beginning of the menstrual cycle to stimulate the ovaries to develop mature eggs in the follicles for fertilization. To determine the timing of the IUI treatment, the physician performs an ultrasound or advises the women to use an ovulation detection kit to see when ovulating occurs. In certain instances, the physician may induce ovulation by administering medication.
Once the woman ovulates, the male produces a sperm sample that is immediately “washed.” The sperm is inserted into the uterus through the cervix by using a catheter. An IUI treatment takes only about an hour to perform.
Success of IUI Treatment
About two weeks after the administration of an IUI treatment, the woman takes a pregnancy test to see if it was a success. Many women go through up to a half dozen cycles of artificial insemination before they actually get pregnant. If more treatments are necessary, a physician might recommend trying another procedure. Success rates are based on fertility problems, age and whether fertility drugs were used with the procedure.
This article is for informational purposes only. We are not doctors.