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Intrauterine Insemination - IUI treatment

Intrauterine insemination (IUI), sometimes referred to as “artificial insemination,” is the process of placing sperm in a woman’s uterus close to the time of ovulation. 

How does IUI treatment Work?

An IUI procedure delivers sperm past the vagina and cervix and into the uterus near the fallopian tubes, thereby raising the chances sperm will fertilise a woman’s egg. It is a simpler, less invasive form of fertility treatment.There are two options when it comes to IUI treatment, and Dr Flynn will discuss the most suitable option based on your fertility issues.

  • IUI can work with a woman’s natural menstrual cycle and doesn’t involve medications to stimulate hormones.
  • Artificial hormone stimulation, or ovulation induction involves the use of medication to stimulate the ovaries and regulate or trigger ovulation. During this time, we monitor follicle development with ultrasound and oestrogen levels. Careful monitoring is crucial to avoid multiple follicle development which increases the risk for multiple pregnancies

In both cases, the semen sample is analysed and washed to concentrate the motile sperm. Then, the final prepared sample is used for insemination where it is gently inserted into the uterine cavity using a speculum and a small catheter.

The procedure is usually not painful, although some patients might feel mild cramping.  You should be able to return to work straight away.

Can IUI Help Me?

IUI treatment could be of benefit to:

  • Couples in which the male has mild low motile sperm counts
  • Couples who are unable to have vaginal intercourse because of physical problems.
  • Women with ovulatory disorders – no or irregular periods, PCOS
  • Women with mild endometriosis
  • People who need donated sperm but have no female fertility problems, including single women and same sex couples.
  • Couples who have infrequent intercourse
  • Couples where the male partner works away and is absent during ovulation

What are the pro’s and con’s of IUI?

IUI has a more ‘natural’ component than IVF as it allows the body to do more on its own.  In IUI, the highest quality sperm are selected and injected into the uterus where they are left to fertilise the eggs naturally.  It is a less invasive procedure and involves fewer drugs than IVF.

IUI success rates decline with a female’s age.  If you’re in your late 30’s or over 40, IVF may be the preferred treatment, as there is more control over the egg being fertilised, and the embryo is carefully selected prior to transfer into the uterus.

This treatment wouldn’t suit patients with a poor egg supply (Diminished Ovarian Reserve), severely reduced sperm count, or an unfriendly uterine environment for an embryo.

If you would like expert advice on your best fertility options, our friendly team can help you with an appointment with Dr Flynn

Ask your GP for a referral to Dr Michael Flynn - print this Referral Request and hand it to your GP.

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