Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a method of reproductive technology that involves less intervention by invasive technologies. IUI is actually the easiest way to achieve the desired pregnancy, among other fertility treatments. The process itself is to use special devices to prepare a semen sample and insert it into a woman's uterus.
The procedure happens on the appropriate menstrual day of the patient's cycle, which is determined by ultrasound. That is, on the day of ovulation. Insemination can occur in an artificial cycle or in the patient's natural cycle. This procedure also involves the possible use of not only the partner's sperm but also the donor semen sample.

What is IUI treatment?

  • Intrauterine insemination is probably the simplest way in terms of reproductive technology, which is used by couples who have just discovered their fertility problems. It should be noted that this process is available only for patients who do not use female donor material.

  • Insemination is by far the cheapest and quite effective way (the chance of pregnancy always depends on the patient's clinical analysis). IUI is a less time-consuming and costly procedure than the full cycle of the in vitro fertilization program.

When is the IUI procedure recommended?

The first question to discuss is whether this type of fertility treatment is right for you. To understand this, patients need to consult a reproductive therapist and possibly pass certain tests.

Insemination is usually recommended for the following types of patients:

  • When there is an unclear reason for not getting pregnant.
  • If patients have problems with ovulation. In this case, doctors prescribe medication to stimulate the ovaries.
  • If patients have no in vitro fertilization indications, but you are using a pre-frozen partner or donor sperm.
  • When there are problems with male fertility. This procedure allows you to select only motile, healthy sperm of good sperm quality.
  • In case of obstruction of the fallopian tubes.
  • It is also a possible treatment option for single women using a sperm donor.

However, in case you have any health issues, like unexplained infertility, failed previous fertility treatments or problems with your fallopian tubes, multiple IUI cycles might be needed. You may want to consider in vitro fertilization, repeated IUI cycle or other options of reproductive medicine.

What is the process of IUI?

  • Consultation

    Patients should first consult an infertility doctor, provide all available information and discuss all the possible stages of your fertility treatment plan, including the suitable ovulation-inducing medication or other fertility medication. The reason why it’s so important to consult a professional before your doctor's office for sperm sample insemination is so that you can rule out certain conditions, like cervical factor infertility and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

  • Scan and blood fertility tests

    After you’ve called your donor for insemination to select the best type of fertility treatment, your doctor will prescribe certain blood tests. For many women, it can be: AMH, antral follicle count, pelvic ultrasound, smears and general blood tests. For a man, it can be a spermogram, DNA fragmentation of sperm and karyotype.

  • Patient preparation

    If the procedure is performed in the patient's natural cycle, you need to inform the doctor about your first day of the menstrual cycle. On the first or second day, your doctor will invite you for an ultrasound. After that, he or she will prescribe 2-4 more ultrasounds for you to monitor ovulation.

    If we are talking about a cycle of fertility medications for intrauterine insemination (IUI) to prepare for the procedure, in this case, based on your tests, the doctor will prescribe a protocol of stimulation and provide you with prescriptions for the purchase of fertility drugs. You will also need to have an ultrasound on day 1-2 of the cycle and 2-3 more ultrasounds later, while taking your medication on a schedule. By doing ultrasounds, your doctor will determine your ovulation day and invite you to the clinic.

  • Sperm preparation

    It is possible to use a vitrified semen sample provided in the clinic an hour before intrauterine insemination. Embryologists perform washing and preparation of healthy sperm in an appropriate environment. They select only the most active sperms for fertilization and put the material into the catheter.

  • Insemination

    Insemination itself occurs on the appropriate day of ovulation of the patient. It does not require surgery or anesthesia. Often the insemination procedure is performed in the office of a reproductive doctor. The embryologist passes the catheter with the finished material to the reproductive doctor, who, in turn, injects the material into the uterus. After the invasive procedure, the patient remains in a supine position for up to 30 minutes.

    In case you experience any discomfort or vaginal bleeding during the next several days after intrauterine insemination (IUI), you should contact your doctor immediately.

  • Pregnancy test

    Doctors recommend doing a pregnancy test 2 weeks after the procedure. When the test shows a positive result, patients need to make an appointment for an initial ultrasound in two weeks. The doctor will also prescribe you further fertility drugs.

  • IUI treatment success rates

    Talking about success rates, the insemination procedure can be effective in 5 to 20% of cases. Of course, it all depends on the patient's age, the number of antral follicles and sperm counts. The procedure is also more effective in the case of planned drug stimulation of the ovaries. In this case, IUI treatment is also more controlled. 

  • IUI procedure risks - what to expect?

    The only possible risk during insemination is the possibility of multiple pregnancies.

  • How much does IUI treatment cost in IFG?

    The price of this type of procedure can vary from 700 to 2,000 euros. The difference depends on the clinic and whether the use of male donor sperm is required. Learn more about our prices here.

RELATED INFORMATION ABOUT EMBRYO GENETIC TESTING

To continue your research on how you can test an embryo for genetic diseases, visit our blog for more publications on embryo genetic testing, chromosome testing before IVF and in vitro fertilization with preimplantation genetic screening.

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