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What is IUI Treatment?

What Is IUI?

IUI procedure is a treatment where the sperm either of the partner or donor is washed is replaced inside the uterus. This is done around the time of ovulation.

What Is Natural IUI?

Natural IUI treatment is where the ovaries are not stimulated with drugs and natural ovulation is awaited. Natural ovulation can be detected either by an FSH test or triggered with hcg injections. 24 to 36 hours later sperm that is prepared is inseminated inside the uterus.

What Is Stimulated IUI?

Stimulated IUI is when the ovaries are stimulated with injections or tablets to generate between one to three follicles and the insemination process is done 24 to 36 hours after ovulation has been triggered.

Who Is IUI Treatment Suitable For?

One of the indications of IUI, intrauterine insemination, is that it is a less invasive form of treatment, and often the first line of treatment in a group of patients who are either coming for

  • donor insemination or
  • unexplained infertility or
  • mild male factor,
  • mild endometriosis or
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome.
  • Single women or women in a same-sex relationship also may benefit from this form of treatment.

If there are minor problems with the quality of sperm, the chance of pregnancy declines, and thus the IUI treatment may help to improve pregnancy rates in those cases.

How Does IUI Work?

IUI is either a stimulated or an un-stimulated ‘natural’ cycle. The plan is to track ovulation and around the time of ovulation, which can be triggered, insemination of prepared sperm (partner or donor sperm) is carried out.

If you are not using fertility drugs, IUI is carried out between day 12-16 of your monthly cycle. We may ask that you carry out testing yourself using an ovulation predictor kit to detect the hormone surge that signals imminent ovulation. Mr. Gudi and Mr. Shah will offer scan monitoring to make the timing of insemination more accurate.

Alternatively, if we recommend that you use fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation, vaginal ultrasound scans will be used to track the development of your eggs. As soon as an egg is mature, you will be given a hormone injection (Ovitrelle/ Pregnyl) to stimulate its release.

The sperm will be inseminated 24 to 36 hours after your ovulation. The procedure is very similar to having a smear test with a speculum. A small catheter (a soft, flexible tube) is then threaded into your womb via your cervix. A prepared sperm sample, containing the best quality sperm, is inserted through the catheter. The whole process takes just a few minutes and is usually painless but some women may experience temporary, menstrual-like cramping. Following the procedure, we may recommend that you rest for 15-20 minutes before going home. The entire procedure is witnessed by at least two professionals to ensure that right sperm is inseminated in the right patient.

If your partner is unable to provide sperm, or if you do not have a male partner, you may wish to consider using donated sperm.

Tubal Patency Tests

Tubal patency tests are three types of tests with the aim of confirming that the tubes are open and there is no natural obstruction too conception.

  • The Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an x-ray test where dye is injected inside the womb and the tubes are checked on x-ray.
  • The HyCoSy test is the testing of tubes where opaque ultrasound dye is inserted inside the womb and the tubal status is checked.
  • Laparoscopy is a test where a telescope is inserted under the belly button and the tubes are then reassessed. This is the gold standard and we can clearly visualise
  • the tubes are normal or not. This is a surgical procedure, and it must be done under anaesthesia.

Fallopian tubes should be open and healthy and there should also be no adhesions present that might prevent an egg from having access to either tube from the ovaries before the IUI process begins. A tubal patency test is usually carried out as part of your assessment either by hysterosalpingogram (HSG), Hycosy or laparoscopy. The recommended method for assessing the patency of your fallopian tubes is laparoscopy and dye testing.

The Benefits Of IUI Treatment

IUI is a simple treatment that maximises nature to achieve a pregnancy. This is a slight modification and the IUI success rate are 10 to 12% of achieving a pregnancy. This is also significantly cheaper than doing an IVF process and has lesser hormones administered.

What Are The Risks Of IUI?

IUI is less complicated than IVF and does not carry the many side effects of IVF. The impact of medications and injections are far more limited. The biggest IUI risk is the IUI success rates are significantly lower and even in young women it is between 10 and 15%.

How Much Does It Cost For IUI Treatment?

We have carefully curated fixed priced packages for all our treatments so patients are fully aware of the price before commencing treatment. The cost of IUI can be found on our fees page.

IUI vs IVF – What’s Right For You?

In cases of male factor infertility or blocked tubes or longstanding unexplained infertility, IUI is not the recommended treatment and IVF may be the recommended treatment. In cases of donor sperm as well as short-time unexplained infertility, IUI is a reasonable treatment that gives a significantly good chance of pregnancy and should be tried ahead of IVF.


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