Intrauterine Insemination: A Treatment for Infertility

Many couples who are struggling with infertility turn to modern medicine to aid in their desire to conceive a child. There are a vast array of options availbe when it comes to deciding on a fertility treatment plan. One option that couples have to assist them in achieving a pregnancy is a procedure known as intrauterine insemination (IUI).

What is intrauterine insemination?
Intrauterine insemination is a relatively simple process. As the name implies, insemination occurs within the woman’s uterus. Intrauterine insemination is performed in a physician’s office, either by a physician or qualified healthcare provider, such as a nurse. The woman is monitored throughout her cycle, and near the time of ovulation, her partner provides a sperm sample. This sample is then “washed” and concentrated before being injected directly into the uterus through a tube placed in the cervix. Intrauterine insemination is sometimes performed in conjunction with fertility medications.

Who is a good candidate for intrauterine insemination?
Not every couple struggling with infertility is a good candidate for artificial insemination. Women who suffer from tubal blockages are not good candidates for intrauterine insemination. Intrauterine insemination may help achieve pregnancy in couples in which the man’s sperm count is lower, or motility is impaired by allowed the sperm to bypass the long journey through the vaginal canal into the uterus. However, men with extremely low sperm counts and poor sperm motility may not be very successful with the use of intrauterine insemination.

How successful is intrauterine insemination?
The success of intrauterine insemination depends greatly on the couples age and other health factors. In a natural unmedicated cycle, the success rate ranges from 10-20%. The success rate of intrauterine insemination is slightly higher in women who take fertility medications in conjunction with the intrauterine insemination.

How much does intrauterine insemination cost?
Intrauterine insemination is much less expensive than treatments such as in vitro fertilization, costing between $300-800. This cost may be higher if intrauterine insemination is being performed in conjunction with the use of fertility medications. In some cases, insurance companies may even cover intrauterine insemination.

Does intrauterine insemination increase the chance of multiple birth?
Unless intrauterine insemination is performed in conjunction with fertility medications, intrauterine insemination does not increase the risk of multiple birth.

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