Fertility Programs

IUI

What is IUI? Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a procedure designed to place sperm directly into woman’s womb.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) involves a laboratory procedure to separate fast moving sperm from more sluggish or non-moving sperm.

The fast moving sperm are then placed into the woman’s womb close to the time of ovulation when the egg is released from the ovary in the middle of the monthly cycle.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) ia as follows.

Intra Uterine Insemination IUI - Is IUI for me?

Our clinic may recommend IUI if couple and you might benefit if?

  • Unexplained infertility
  • Ovulation problems
  • Male partner experiences impotence or premature ejaculation
  • You do not have any known fertility problems but may not have a male partner and are trying for a baby using donated sperm.

IUI may be the right treatment solution for you. UI is used when the woman is fertile, but pregnancy cannot be achieved through normal intercourse. It is suitable for a number of categories of patient including:

Couples using Partner Sperm

Patients Suitable for Treatment

IUI is a good initial treatment option for many couples who have been unable to achieve a pregnancy through normal intercourse within a period of 12 months or more when the probable cause is:

  • Oligospermia – a reduced sperm count of the male partner.
  • Poor movement or motility of the male partner’s sperm.

Either fresh or previously frozen partner sperm can be used.

Couples using Donor Sperm

Patients Suitable for Treatment

Male factor problems account for 30-40% of couples presenting with infertility. This may be due to a total of absence of sperm in the ejaculate, or to low numbers and/or poor quality of sperm.

We do everything possible to make treatment with the male partner’s sperm possible. These steps include the use of advanced sperm recovery techniques which are successful in many cases and enable the use of IVF treatment with ICSI.

There is, sometimes, no medical or surgical treatment for these conditions and, if no sperm can be provided by the male partner, one way of achieving pregnancy is by insemination of the female partner with donor sperm.

The decision to go ahead with Donor Insemination (DI) treatment is often a difficult one for the couples involved. There are medical, ethical, religious and legal aspects that need to be considered. Patients require thorough counselling to discuss the implications of DI and any reservations they may have about the treatment. Bridge supports prospective DI patients in every way possible and we will do all we humanly can to make you feel comfortable with your decision and confident about the future.

As the number of babies available for adoption is limited, DI often offers the only chance of becoming a family and we welcome new Blossom Babies born as a result of IUI / DI on a regular basis.

What does the Treatment Involve?

IUI treatment can be natural (without fertility drugs) or stimulated (with fertility drugs). The most appropriate course will be chosen at your Initial Consultation.

The IUI procedure involves placing sperm directly into the uterus at the fertile period each month, as close to the day of ovulation as possible, which is decided by serial sonography at the centre from 11th day of your period.

Sperm Preparation

First, the semen sample from the male partner, or donor, is prepared by spinning it in the laboratory. This is done to separate the sperm from the seminal plasma (the liquid which carries the sperm) which is known to irritate the uterus. In normal sexual intercourse the seminal plasma does not enter the uterus, but rather the sperm ‘swim’ away from it, through the uterus and into the fallopian tube.

Next, the embryologist assesses whether the sample is suitable for IUI. This involves counting the sperm to ensure adequate numbers are present, checking for healthy appearance and assessing motility (the amount of movement they display).

Finally, to minimise the presence of seminal plasma, the embryologist mixes the sperm with a culture medium.

Insemination

The sperm and culture medium are drawn into a very fine plastic catheter, or tube, which is then passed through the cervix (the neck of the womb) into the uterus, where the sperm are released. The procedure is usually painless and takes only a few minutes. About 10% of women experience temporary menstrual-like cramping and, occasionally, a little bleeding. It is usual to lie down afterwards, for 15-20 minutes, after which normal activities can be resumed.

Stimulated IUI

The chances of pregnancy may be increased by the use of fertility drugs, which can be used to support more than one phase of the reproductive cycle.

Firstly, there are drugs which stimulate the ovaries to produce more than one egg each cycle. Vaginal ultrasound monitors progress by identifying the number and maturity of ovarian follicles (each follicle can produce one egg). The most commonly used drugs for this phase are Clomid tablets, or Menopur, Puregon or Gonal F injections.

The next step involves testing for the LH surge. LH, or Luteinizing Hormone, stimulates the egg to ripen and triggers ovulation (the release of the egg.

Testing for the surge is done from Day 9, using an ovulation predictor kit at home, or by daily urine testing at Bridge. Once the LH surge is detected, an injection of HCG, either Ovitrelle or Pregnyl, may be given (or self-administered) to ensure release of the egg.

Insemination at Bridge is booked for the day following ovulation.

Finally, Cyclogestpessaries (progesterone) may be used after insemination to facilitate implantation (the process of the fertilised egg attaching to the uterine wall).

After the IUI Treatment – Natural or Stimulated,A urine or blood pregnancy test can be done 14 days after IUI.

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