Health Team

Using Intrauterine Insemination For Infertility

Posted September 4, 2013

Infertility affects more than 7 million people in the United States. When a couple is unable to conceive, one of the first treatments they may explore is intrauterine insemination, or IUI. Perhaps more widely known as artificial insemination, IUI is an advanced way to increase the chances of pregnancy.

According to RESOLVE, the National Fertility Association, 30% of infertility is due to a female factor, 30% is due to a male factor, 10% is due to a combination and 20% is due to unexplained reasons. IUI can be helpful in most of these cases.

How IUI Works

To conceive through intercourse, the sperm enters the vagina and travels into the uterus and then into the fallopian tubes, where it can fertilize the egg. But conditions in the female and male body can make this process more difficult. Mucus in the woman's cervix, for example, can make it more difficult for the sperm to reach its destination. Likewise, if the sperm count is low or has a low motility rate, the number of sperm that can reach and fertilize the egg can be diminished. The female partner must have at least one fallopian tube open for IUI to be successful.

IUI improves the opportunity for pregnancy by inserting washed, concentrated sperm directly into the uterus, not the vagina, through a thin catheter. This more direct approach makes it more likely that the high quality sperm will meet the waiting egg.

IUI is a simple procedure and can be completed in the doctor's office quickly. It takes about an hour to wash the sperm, but the insemination procedure itself takes about 5 minutes. Patients may have IUI as a standalone treatment, however many patients also take medicine to stimulate egg release (ovulation) prior to the procedure to further increase the chance of pregnancy.

Effectiveness of IUI

At Carolina Conceptions, the team of physicians and nurses is experienced in IUI as well as other fertility treatments. Patients who used this method experienced a pregnancy rate of 12 – 22%, depending on the forms of medication that the female partner used. Pregnancy rates are not dependent on whether a physician or nurse performs the procedure. Pregnancy rates using IUI are higher than rates with sexual intercourse.

Minimal Risks with IUI

Because IUI is minimally invasive and is performed in the office, it involves less risk than some other procedures. Women may experience some cramping or spotting after the procedure, but are usually able to resume their regular activities the same day as the procedure. Due to IUI's effectiveness and ease of use, it is often an initial treatment for infertility.

To find out more about IUI and other infertility treatments, please contact Carolina Conceptions today.

Carolina Conceptions is an advertising partner of, but each article is intended to be educational and informative in nature. 





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