Intrauterine insemination is a fertility treatment in which the sperm is deposited directly into the uterus via a catheter straight through the cervix. IVF is a very popular term for infertility treatments, but IUI, an older, simpler, and much easier technique is not known to most people. This is probably because in most infertility treatments IVF is the most effective infertility treatment. IUI, though simpler, is only applicable to a small number of cases. The selection of any particular IVF treatment depends on a lot of factors such as the age of the patient, their fertility problem, cost of the treatment, etc.
World IVF center in Delhi is the IUI best hospital and the Best IUI treatment in Delhi. You can receive fertility treatments from some of the best fertility experts here, with expert guidance for your treatment journey.
What is IUI (intrauterine insemination)?
IUI is a fertility treatment in which sperm that has been washed and concentrated in a laboratory, to separate the most active sperm, is transferred to the uterus directly using a catheter. It is commonly known as “artificial insemination,” although the term is a bit inaccurate.
The procedure is optimally done at the time or just before the woman is ovulating, either in her natural menstrual cycle or after ovarian stimulation has been artificially induced by using oral or injectable fertility drugs.
It is often the very first treatment suggested by fertility doctors, primarily due to its simplicity, ease, and cost-effectiveness. In many cases, it does not even require artificial ovarian stimulation and can simply be completed during a woman’s natural cycle.
What are the favorable and unfavorable factors for intrauterine insemination?
For women, IUI is considered in the following cases:
- PCOS- IUI is the first fertility treatment tried in women with the polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) or other ovulation problems because fertility drugs make cycles more regular. It also helps with fertility in women with mild endometriosis or unexplained infertility.
- Cervical abnormalities- IUI is also recommended for women suffering from cervical abnormalities such as scarring from any previous surgical procedure or abnormal development in the cervix or vagina. These disorders may interfere with the mobility and passage of the sperm through the vagina to the uterus.
- Overweight and obese women- IUI has also proven to be successful in overweight and obese women, though many fertility clinics have a BMI limit for IVF treatment as the drugs can often lead to many complications with the body.
- Blocked fallopian tubes- IUI is also recommended to women who have, for any reason, at least one unblocked and reasonably normal fallopian tube.
IUI is the most successful in women with a normal uterine cavity, regular ovulation schedule, even if it is with the help of fertility medication, and a healthy ovarian reserve, i.e., a reasonable number of healthy eggs.
On the other hand, IUI is not recommended in women with:
- Severely diseased fallopian tubes,
- History of recurring pelvic infections
- Infertility lasting for over 4 years or longer
- Cases of moderate and severe endometriosis
For couples where the infertility issue lies with the male partner, IUI is recommended in cases where:
- Sperm issues- IUI is highly recommended if the male partner has sperm with mild infertility factor, stretching from issues like a slightly below average sperm count, low sperm motility, and mildly abnormal morphology of the sperm. It is also useful if the man has ejaculation problems, however, it is not successful for severe male infertility problems.
- Fertility preservation or frozen sperm- IUI is a great option for men who have frozen their sperm previously and are now unable to conceive due to a problem after cancer treatment or surgery. However, it is only performed if there is enough sperm leftover for IVF after IUI treatment.
- Donor sperm- IUI is also used by couples with genetic defects in the male partner by using donor sperm. It is a great option for same-sex couples or single women looking to have a child. They can use donor sperm or their own sperm for transferring in the carrier’s uterine cavity.
What are the chances of success of IUI?
As discussed above, the success of IUI depends on the patient’s age, the reason for infertility, the kind of fertility drugs used, and the number of IUI or IVF cycles performed. The rate of pregnancy in IUI for women less than 35 years of age is about 8% to 10% per cycle. In the second cycle, it rises to 18% and in three cycles it reaches 25%.
But after 3 unsuccessful cycles, the IUI success rate decreases exponentially. After 6 cycles with ovarian stimulation, the total number of pregnant women remains below 35%. In women over 38 years of age, the rate of pregnancy is less than 5%.
The cost of IUI treatment depends on:-
- Whether any fertility drugs are used
- What kind of fertility drugs are being used
- Whether any donor sperm is needed
- No. of IUI cycles
- Extra procedures such as ultrasounds, lab tests, and semen analysis necessary for the treatment
What are the disadvantages of IUI treatment?
- IUI has a significantly lower success rate and life birth rate than IVF.
- Fertility drugs required for ovarian stimulation during IUI can cause side effects like headaches, hot flashes, fluid swings, and mood swings in some women.
- IUI can also lead to multiple pregnancies, which can lead to premature birth, infant disability, infant mortality, miscarriages, and health issues for the mother.
Although IUI does not necessarily require a fertility clinic, it is better to go to one anyway because:
- Daily monitoring from expert fertility doctors to ensure that the patient is adapting well to the treatment
- Sterile and easy insemination at any time
- Better sperm preparation at the clinic due to washing and concentrating of the sperm
- Fertility experts can adjust the fertility drugs if necessary
At World IVF Centre, the IUI best hospital, or the Best IUI treatment in Delhi, we promise you that you will receive the best fertility treatment that will propel you in your journey to parenthood as soon as possible.