Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination

Artificial insemination is nothing unusual in the modern world. It has been developing the most active in the last decades. Thanks to this procedure, the couples that had been deemed to be childless now have high chances to feel the joy of parenthood. Nowadays, there is quite a vast number of artificial insemination methods.

One of the easiest methods is intrauterine insemination (IUI). It is an assisted reproductive technology (ART) when specially prepared sperm of a man is introduced to the uterus of a woman. This procedure may be conducted using both husband’s or donor’s sperm.

Indications for IUI

A doctor may recommend intrauterine insemination in the following cases:

  • unexplained infertility;
  • issues with woman’s cervical mucus, the cervical environment is hostile to the man’s sperm;
  • trauma of the cervical tissues, for example, as a result of previous procedures that may prevent the sperm from getting into uterus;
  • ejaculation dysfunction in man;
  • ovulatory dysfunction;
  • vaginismus.

Male factor

The most common pathologies of the male reproductive system are as follows:

  • sperm subfertility, i.e. the potential for insemination is decreased;
  • ejaculation disorder - in this case, the biological material (sperm) is collected and conserved.

In order to assess the man’s ability for fertilization, doctors prescribe semen analysis. If its results show any deviations, at first, it is recommended to take the semen analysis one more time, no earlier than in 2 weeks.

The following disorders may be detected using semen analysis:

  • asthenozoospermia, i.e. sufficient decrease in the mobility of the spermatozoa (less than 25%);
  • oligozoospermia, i.e. decrease in spermatozoa concentration ( less than 15 mil in 1 ml);
  • teratozoospermia, i.e. increase in the numer of sperm pathologies (more than 70%)
  • oligoasthenoteratozoospermia, i.e. presence of all the abovementioned abnormalities;
  • azoospermia, i.e. absence of spermatozoa in ejaculate;
  • aspermia, i.e. absence of ejaculate

If a man is diagnosed with one of the pathological conditions that prevent the IUI, when infertility in man is impossible to treat or there is a risk that the child will inherit the genetical diseases, then the couple is offered to use donor material.

Intraperitoneal insemination and intrauterine insemination: differences

In intraperitoneal insemination, the sperm is administered in the area of the lesser pelvis called Douglas space. Due to such insemination, the spermatozoon can faster reach an egg, and the pregnancy is more likely.
In the ordinary intrauterine insemination, the sperm is administered directly in a woman’s vagina.

IUI efficiency

The chances of becoming pregnant after artificial insemination depend on a number of factors, including woman’s age, infertility duration, sperm quality and characteristics, examination results, and the number of the previous IUI attempts.
The chances of getting pregnant with IUI are about 15%. Doctors recommend the patients, who didn’t become pregnant with IUI procedure, to resort to IVF (in vitro fertilization).

IUI benefits

  • This insemination method is maximally similar to the natural conception;
  • this reproductive technology may be performed both in the natural cycle and stimulated cycle.
  • requires minimal intervention into the woman’s body;
  • the procedure does not require much time;
  • the procedure is painless;
  • before IUI, the sperm is treated with special dissolutions that improve its quality;
  • it’s affordable.

So, the pairs that have some problems with conception sometimes need minimum interventions to success with the desired pregnancy. IUI is not recommended to the severe diseases of fallopian tubes, women with moderate or severe endometriosis. To perform IUI, it is necessary that the woman ovulates (it may be stimulated), at least one of her tubes should be obstruction-free and the healthy sperm is also necessary. IUI is performed during ovulation. The price of IUI is probably that most effective and cost-efficient from all the types of insemination, but its efficiency is the lowest as well.

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