Intrauterine insemination also known as artificial insemination is the process whereby washed and prepared sperm cells are deposited in the uterus of the woman using IUI catheter. This procedure is carried out with the aim of facilitating fertilization because the sperm cells are closer to the egg, to be fertilized, compared to when the sperm cells are deposited in the vagina.
Indication for Intrauterine Insemination
- The commonest indication for IUI is unexplained infertility.
- For patients who have not gotten pregnant with ovulation induction and timed intercourse, IUI may also be a treatment option for these couples.
- Couples with mild oligospermia as the possible cause of infertility
At JAFC, patients who qualify for IUI are however given the option of going straight for IVF because of the increased success rate with IVF compared to IUI.
How is the process carried out?
- Intrauterine Insemination can either be carried out in a natural cycle or in a stimulated cycle either with oral medication or injectables (i.e. gonadotropin).
- Follicular growth and development is monitored using the transvaginal scan to determine when ovulation is likely to occur.
- Injection HCG is given when the dominant follicle is at least 17mm, and the insemination done about 36 hours after the HCG injection administration.
- The insemination is sometimes repeated after about 12 hours of the first insemination, to increase the chance of fertilization and thus pregnancy.
How long will this treatment take?
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) usually takes about two weeks from the beginning of a cycle to around the midcycle.
What is the success rate?
The success rate of one cycle of IUI is about 10-14%, which is significantly lower than that of IVF which is about 40-50%. The cumulative success rate after 3 cycles of IUI is about 37%, which is still not up to the success rate of one cycle of IVF.
What are the steps involved in IUI?
- First Consultation and evaluation
- Comprehensive Fertility Investigation
- Review of investigation results and discussion on the treatment options
- Transvaginal Scan on day 2 of cycle and commencement of ovulation induction
- Follicular tracking on days 10, 12 or more days till dominant follicle is at least >17mm
- Injection HCG given
- Prepared sperm cells deposited in the uterus about 36 hours after HCG injection
Any drawback with this Service or treatment?
- This process can lead to many follicles developing, and thus the program can be turned inadvertently into an IVF program or the program cancelled.