Nowadays, couple who have fertility problems already have multiple treatment options to choose from. The method that is best for you depends on the amount of energy, time and money that you are willing to invest. If you prefer the fastest and arguably less costly treatment then you should consider opting for intrauterine insemination (IUI).
Swift and More Economical But with Rigid Requirements
The procedure may be quicker and cheaper compared to other fertility treatments available today; however, it does have stringent requirements. For women who have both fallopian tubes completely blocked, for instance, IUI is immediately crossed out. If the woman also has severe pelvic scars and a major case of endometriosis. Age also determines the success rate of IUI, and women who are over the age of 40 are usually discouraged from undergoing this procedure. The same goes for males who have extreme cases of infertility.
With that said, it’s apparent that IUI is advisable for couples who only have mild fertility issues. Women who only have minor problems with their ovulation and men who have equally mild infertility issues are the perfect candidates for intrauterine insemination since they don’t need the arguably more invasive, lengthy and expensive methods involved in (IVF) or in vitro fertilization.
An Overview of How the Procedure is Performed
- IUI is usually done during the peak of a woman’s natural menstrual cycle, so as to ensure the presence of an egg. Nowadays, however, most clinics rely on ovary stimulation more since it has been proven to significantly increase the chances of success of insemination.
- The man is then asked to produce sperm through masturbation. Whether it’s done in the clinic or at home is entirely up to the couple or the male in question. Abstinence from masturbation for about 3-5 days is encouraged to ensure large semen volume.
- Sperm washing is done on the collected semen. This is done by separating the sperm from the semen. There are various methods employed to do this, but the most common one involves dilution of the seminal liquid with a sperm wash solution primarily consisting of antibiotics. The diluted liquid then repeatedly undergoes centrifugation until only the sperm concentrate is left.
- With the use of speculum, the one performing the procedure then readies and cleans the area around the cervix. Since this is IUI, the washed sperm is directly deposited into the upper uterine cavity with the help of a catheter.
Normal Success Rates of IUI
The success rate of IUI is, at best, varying. A lot of factors should be considered such as the cause of the infertility. If the infertility is unexplained, the chances of success is greatly affected, but the age of the woman as well as the drugs being used play a vital role in it as well. For instance, women who are above 40 and have unexplained infertility, the success rate is only a measly 1% per month.
For conducive scenarios like the woman is no older than 35, both fallopian tubes are open, with a mild infertility problem, male sperm is normal, the chance of success is around 20% a month. This is obviously a far cry from the 60% chance of success that is usually associated with the IVF with ICSI procedure, but for the faster and cheaper results that IUI can provide, the procedure is still something that most couples should consider, especially if they meet its requirements.