INTRAUTERINE INSEMINATION (IUI) at WCFC
Intrauterine insemination, formerly known as "artificial insemination," is a more descriptive term because it means placing prepared sperm inside the uterus (intra-uterine).
For certain types of infertility such as mild cases of male infertility or if unfavorable cervical mucus is present, IUI is a useful technique for achieving pregnancy. In order for a woman to be a good candidate for this procedure, she must have a fertility evaluation to indicate she is otherwise fertile. She will need to undergo a full pelvic examination which will screen for infections, disease and damage to her reproductive organs. Once the woman is considered a good candidate, planning for an IUI cycle can begin. An IUI can be performed with the husband's sperm or with donor sperm.
Intrauterine insemination is an effective procedure for couples who have been unable to conceive due to moderately suppressed semen parameters or due to erectile dysfunction or some types of ejaculatory problems. IUI has also been useful in cases of female cervical disorders that may interfere with sperm transport into the uterus and tubes.
For couples experiencing very low sperm counts or male sterility, the best treatment may be in-vitro fertilization. However, IUI with donor sperm may be another option which is widely accepted and effective in some types of male factor infertility. Using this technique has allowed thousands of couples to experience of pregnancy, childbirth and having a family. Our staff will explain the difference between a directed donor, who is known to the patient or an anonymous donor whose sperm is usually frozen and procured from a commercial sperm bank. In either case, we will assist you in preparing the consent forms and provide instructions concerning the next step.
The insemination procedure takes only a few minutes and is performed on-site in our laboratory in Orange County. Prior to the actual IUI, the woman is sometimes placed on medication to stimulate the development of at least one mature follicle. Growth of the follicle is closely monitored and the IUI is timed to correspond with her ovulation. On the day of the IUI, the sperm preparation will take place, whether it's the woman's partner or a donor's sample. The sperm sample is evaluated and washed in order to concentrate the sample prior to insemination. The advantages of intrauterine insemination are that the concentrated amount of sperm reaches the fallopian tubes where fertilization occurs. The sperm washing helps improve sperm capacitation which increases the ability of the sperm to fertilize the egg once they reach the fallopian tubes. The sperm wash also helps to remove bacteria and prostaglandins found in seminal fluid. During the IUI a thin catheter is placed through the cervical canal and the washed sample is then slowly released into the uterine cavity. Normal activity is resumed after 20 minutes rest.
On a monthly basis, the chance of pregnancy is about 20% per attempt.