Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): Getting Started with First Line Fertility Treatment

Making the first call to a fertility clinic may feel like admitting defeat, but a few statistics might encourage you to take action:

  • More than 80 percent of couples that seek fertility treatment will resolve infertility.
  • More than 80 percent of women that take ovulation induction medication will successfully ovulate.
  • Only 30 percent of couples will need to progress to advanced reproductive technologies such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

Dr. James Douglas will review your medical history and run a basic fertility workup to rule out obvious causes. If no fallopian tube blockages or sperm issues turn up, he will likely recommend a cycle of ovulation induction.

Fertility specialists consider ovulation induction, with or without intrauterine insemination IUI, a first line treatment because IUI is not invasive, relatively affordable and proven effective.

IUI Gives Mother Nature a Hand

In natural conception, approximately 180 million sperm are ejaculated into the vagina during intercourse. A good sperm count (above 20 million) is key here. Of the thousands at the onset, a select number of sperm will travel through the cervix, a natural filter, to make it to the fallopian tube.

Good sperm motility (or movement) is essential for this part of the journey to reach the egg.

Addressing Male Infertility with IUI

If male infertility testing reveals a problem with sperm count, mobility or morphology, Dr. Douglas will likely propose a cycle of intrauterine insemination IUI. The IVF lab washes, sorts and prepares a semen sample, and delivers it to the fertility clinic to coincide with IUI.

During an in-office procedure, often preceded by ovulation induction and a shot of hCG to trigger ovulation, a thin catheter is used to deliver sperm directly to the uterus, close to the fallopian tube. The process is quick, relatively painless and requires no downtime.

With IUI, 5 to 10 times the number of sperm will reach the egg as compared with natural fertilization.

For severe cases of male infertility, Dr. Douglas will discuss further options such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) with in-vitro fertilization (IVF), or donor sperm.

IUI with Ovulation Induction Helps Cover all the Bases

The great majority of female infertility cases involve ovulation disorders, or failure to ovulate. A cycle of the oral medication clomiphene citrate produces favorable results, and may be the only extra step you need to achieve a pregnancy.

IUI has helped countless couples achieve their goals for starting or adding to their families. If you have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, or infertility due to male causes, ask about the success rates for IUI at IVF Plano. Contact our clinical care team to schedule an appointment with Dr. James Douglas.