I want to cover the IUI (Intrauterine Insemination ) in this article as I’ve received many questions about this topic though my other article which was mainly addressing IVF( in-vitro fertilization), Summer’s journey from infertility to our baby and many couples considering assisted reproduction may not fully understand the difference between the 2
IUI is another technique used in assisted reproduction, and it is very different,and less costly than in-vitro fertilization. The reason why a doctor would recommend IUI would be, provided that the ovaries and uterus also function normally (again checked and assured by a gynecologist), are:
- if the female fallopian tubes are functioning perfectly normal and are able to conduct the ovum (egg) through into the uterus for reproduction. The functionality of the fallopian tubes can be confirmed through laparoscopy or HSG ( Histerosalpingogram).
- if male semen tests are within normal ranges (semen quantity produced, semen quality- morphology, motility and number of sperm cells)
- if the infertility is due to unknown causes or idiopathic
- if there is cervical mucus hostility (mucus appears thick, sticky and/or dry)caused by hormonal imbalances
IUI is the process through which male sperm concentrated solution is injected into the woman’s womb or uterine cavity around her ovulation time. With in-vitro fertilization the approach is more complex, requires egg (ova) pick-up done under anesthesia. I’ve covered the detailed IVF procedure in this article The journey from infertility to a baby
IUI can be done naturally, meaning the woman’s natural ovulation cycle is monitored through ultrasounds and the transfer of sperm is scheduled to happen around the natural ovulation. This procedure assumes regular to daily ultrasounds in order to capture the ovulation window and to schedule the semen transfer.
For increased chances of success fertility hormones are used to have more control over the entire process, use less ultrasound tests and to stimulate production of more than one ovule in this cycle. A protocol is developed together with your fertility doctor to ensure personalized treatment.