Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

In IUI, warmed prepared sperm is inserted with a very thin, flexible catheter into the patient's uterus at around the time of ovulation. Depending on the particular fertility problem the patient may be advised to use fertility drugs with the IUI treatment. When fertility drugs are used it is referred to as a simulated cycle and if they are not used, a natural cycle.

During a stimulated cycle, patients are often given fertility drugs in the form of an injection and nasal spray. Patient's begin taking the medication near the beginning of their menstrual cycle to stimulate the ovaries to develop several mature eggs for fertilization. An ultrasound will be used to detect ovulation and ensure that the insemination is carried out at the optimum time. Patient's may ovulate naturally, or be given an injection of the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG).

Requirement for IUI
A woman must have a normal ovulation cycle, open fallopian tubes and a normal uterine cavity in order to undergo artificial insemination. A man must have a relatively normal sperm count, as well as normal sperm mobility and sperm morphology.

Success Rate
Success rate ranges from 10 to as high as 60 per cycle. The lower percentage reflects the IUI pregnancy success rate when one follicle is used and the higher percentage reflects the IUI pregnancy success rate when multiple follicles are used. Usually no more than 3 to 4 follicles are used in order to decrease the risk of multiple births. Women usually have a higher chance of getting pregnant with IUI if the assisted reproductive technology procedure is used in conjunction with fertility drugs.
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