What is intrauterine insemination (IUI)?
Intrauterine insemination is a technique whereby a sperm sample prepared in the laboratory is introduced into the uterine cavity during ovulation. Ovarian induction or ovarian stimulation is generally carried out before in order to improve follicular growth, and increase the chances of achieving pregnancy.
Types of intrauterine insemination.
Partner intrauterine insemination is when the sperm is provided by the couple, and donor intrauterine insemination when it comes from a donor. In this case it can be performed without prior hormonal treatment.
How is intrauterine insemination carried out?
From the initial days of the cycle ultrasound scans and blood tests are carried out to monitor follicular growth. When the follicle reaches pre-ovulatory size, a medication that induces the peak in LH necessary for final maturation and ovulation is administrated. 36 hours later (when ovulation occurs) intrauterine insemination is carried out. At the time of insemination, a vaginal speculum is used to visualise the uterine cervix, and a catheter then introduces the sperm into the uterus.
When is partner intrauterine insemination recommended?
- • Sterility for unknown reasons over a short period of time (less than 2 years).
- Young patients (under 37).
- Permeable fallopian tubes (at least one).
- Sperm sample with a low percentage of motile sperm (REM ≥ 5M).
When is donor intrauterine insemination recommended?
When a semen sample from a sperm bank has to be used. This can happen for different reasons:
- Single women.
- Women with a female partner.
- Absence of sperm in the semen (azoospermia) and testicular failure.
- Men who are carriers of certain hereditary diseases that can be transmitted to their offspring, and that cannot be excluded by other means.
What is the likelihood of achieving pregnancy intrauterine insemination?
The likelihood is lower than with IVF – between 10% and 20% – as it is a simple and uncomplicated procedure.
Always depending on the age of the woman, and the particular patient in question, no more than 3 or 4 attempts are advised. However, in the case of donor insemination the chances of achieving pregnancy are higher, and up to 6 attempts can be made before starting to look at other techniques.
How can an intrauterine insemination be organised if I don’t live in Barcelona?
Not living in Barcelona is not a problem at all. An initial appointment at our centre is essential so that we can assess your full medical history, and advise on the correct treatment for you. Once the treatment has started, medical check ups can take place outside Barcelona, as long as they are carried out by an experienced gynaecologist. Our medical team will assess the information received, and will adjust medication as necessary throughout. The intrauterine insemination will take place at our day centre.