When asking what is IUI, start by understanding that it is short for intrauterine insemination. It is an established conception aid for women. Less costly than IVF and far less invasive, its success rate can be up to 20%.
This can be a great treatment for those who experience problems getting pregnant because of endometriosis, unexplained infertility, anti-sperm mucous and antibodies in the woman. Men with sexual dysfunction, borderline sperm counts and low sperm motility will also qualify for this treatment. It’s also used when donor sperm is to be utilized.
It simply involves injecting sperm directly into the womb, so it’s more likely to combine with the egg than when normal ejaculation takes place inside the vagina. A larger quantity of sperm enters the uterus, the sperm doesn’t get destroyed by hostile vaginal mucous or anti-sperm antibodies and the journey the sperm have to make to fertilize the ovum is shorter. IUI is often tried before IVF along with fertility medications.
For optimal results, IUI must be done at the point of ovulation. Medications like Clomid may be used to trigger the release of more eggs, raising the chances of successful conception. You’ll need to chart your periods carefully so pinpoint the day you ovulate. Blood and hormones may be tested to ensure the timing is just right.
So on the day, sperm is contributed. It’s concentrated then washed, removing damaged or ineffective sperm plus seminal fluid. This is important as the fluid contains prostaglandins which normally don’t progress past the vagina. If they did get into the womb, they may cause illness and severe cramping.
There are few downsides, or side effects, which you may have to consider, when learning exactly what is IUI. The costs run to the hundreds rather than thousands of dollars. If you’ve been trying to get pregnant for 12-18 months and not succeeded, or you have a condition listed above, it’s definitely a good idea to discuss IUI with your gynecologist or family doctor.