Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is one of the treatment modalities for infertility. By directly inseminating the processed sperm into uterine cavity through a tiny catheter, number of sperm reaching fallopian tube is enhanced and hence the chance of fertilize naturally would be increased.
Indications for IUI treatment
- Mild male infertility
- Women with mild endometriosis
- Couples with unexplained infertility
- Couples with coital problems, either physically or psychologically
- Couples considering sperm donation while there is no female fertility problem
Situations where IUI is not suitable
- Fallopian tube occlusion
- Severe endometriosis
- Low ovarian reserve
- Severe male infertility
The doctor would recommend the following tests to determine if IUI treatment is appropriate:
- X-ray hysterosalpingogram (HSG), which could be used to find out whether the fallopian tubes are blocked and the exact location of the blockage.
- Ultrasound examination for severe endometriosis
- Blood test for hormone levels, and ovarian reserved such as Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) test
- Semen analysis, to investigate the quantity and quality of sperm
If you wish to undergo IUI treatment, please contact the clinic on the 1st day of your period and make an appointment with your doctor on the 2nd to 3rd day. Our doctor will perform an ultrasound to determine a suitable day to start your IUI cycle and explain how to use ovulation-inducing drugs (if needed). You could inject yourself or have it done in the clinic. During IUI cycle, you follow up regularly to monitor the growth of the follicles. When the follicles reach suitable size and maturity, usually after 8-10 days of ovulation-inducing drugs, you’ll be instructed to inject the ovulation trigger injection and arrange for IUI at the time of highest chance (usually 1-2 days after trigger shot).
The entire IUI process will be carried out in the in vitro fertilization (IVF) center. The husband could choose to collect semen at home or in the IVF center. Semen samples are processed and washed in order to collect healthy and active sperm. The doctor will then pass a tiny catheter through the cervix and inject the processed semen directly into the uterine cavity. It only takes a few minutes. After a short rest, you could resume your normal activities. As the procedure does not cause too much pain, anesthesia is generally not required.
IUI is a very safe treatment for infertility. Like other infertility treatment modalities, the pregnancy rate of IUI is affected by many factors. Should there be doubts, please ask your assisted reproductive practitioner.