IUI is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman's uterus to facilitate fertilization with an ultimate aim of increasing the number of sperm in the fallopian tubes. It involves sperm processing (or "washing") and placing the processed specimen into the uterine cavity with a catheter.
The procedure gives the sperm an head start and reduces the distance it has to travel to fertilize the egg, it is most commonly used when the sperm's mobility is very slow and low sperm count. But in comparison to IVF, it is less expensive and invasive with fewer risks and side effects. However it is also associated with lower pregnancy rates when compared to IVF.
However, it may be selected as a fertility treatment when there is :
2. A hostile cervical condition, including cervical mucus problems
3. Cervical scar tissue from past procedures which may hinder the sperms’ ability to enter the uterus
4. Ejaculation dysfunction
5. Infertility due to ovulation problems
IUI is non-effective when there is :
1.Blockage of both fallopian tubes
2. Severe male factor infertility
3. Severe endometriosis
4. Severe pelvic scarring
5. Women with moderate to severe endometriosis
Risks: Chances of having multiples is increased especially if fertility drugs are taken when during the period of iUI, as well as a small risk of infection.
Effectiveness: This is dependent on the condition of the two tubes female age, reason for infertility and fertility drug enhancement.
The most difficult part of the IUI is getting the timing correct. There are two popular methods for timing inseminations. One is by the use of an injection of HCG (ovidrel, novarel, profasi, pregynl) and the other is by the use of ovulation predictor kits. Studies have shown that the pregnancy rates in IUI timed cycles using an LH kit versus HCG are equal (as long as you are picking up your LH surge correctly). Getting the correct day for an LH surge with an ovulation kit can be stressful. We have found that using the HCG trigger makes it easier for patients for timing, decreases stress that the surge was missed, and makes the time to conception quicker.
According to resolve.org, IUI coupled with fertility drugs are a good treatment option for many patients with infertility. Your individual success will depend upon your age, egg quality, patency of your fallopian tubes, and partner’s sperm count. Your individual success is best determined by your physician.