Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a treatment for infertility, performed in couples unable to conceive despite trying for at least a year. IUI involves placing sperm in a women’s uterus to facilitate fertilization (fusion of egg and sperm). IUI gives the sperm a head start in entering the womb, but the sperm will still have to reach and fertilize the egg on its own.
Your treatment plan may include intrauterine insemination. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a type of assisted reproductive technique that involves collecting multiple mature eggs from a woman and fertilizing them with sperm outside the body, in the lab. Once fertilized, the embryos are implanted into the uterus within three to five days. If (IVF) is recommended your provider would refer you to a reproductive endocrinologist.
Some of the other techniques used in IVF include intracytoplasmic sperm injection (a single healthy sperm cell is directly injected into a mature egg), assisted hatching (the outer covering of the embryo is removed to facilitate embryo implantation into the uterus), and using donor eggs or sperm. Gestational surrogates may also be considered for women for whom pregnancy poses high health risks, or for those who have a nonfunctional uterus.
What is ovulation induction?
Ovulation induction is the use of drugs to induce a woman’s ovaries to release an egg. This treatment is used when ovulation is irregular or does not occur at all and other causes have been ruled out.
How is ovulation induction done?
The drug most commonly used for ovulation induction is clomiphene citrate. About 40% of women achieve pregnancy with the use of this drug within six menstrual cycles. Side effects usually are mild and included hot flashes, breast tenderness, nausea and mood swings. There is an 8-10% risk of twins and less than a 1% change of triplets.
What is intrauterine insemination (IUI)?
In intrauterine insemination, a large amount of healthy sperm is placed in the uterus as close to the time of ovulation as possible. It often is used with ovulation induction. The women’s partner or donor may provide the sperm. Sperm that has been retrieved earlier and frozen can also be used.
Women who benefit from IUI