What is IUI Treatment?
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a simple and cost effective fertility treatment.In this procedure healthy sperm is placed into a woman’s uterus when she is ovulating.
This procedure is used for couples with unexplained infertility, minimal male factor infertility, and women with cervical mucus problems. IUI success is improved when it is done in conjunction with ovulation-stimulating drugs.
What are the chances of getting pregnancy with IUI?
Chances of pregnancy with IUI treatment is 10 to 20 percent with just one IUI cycle. The more cycles of IUI you undergo, the higher the chance is for a pregnancy.
Some studies show only an 8 percent success rate (when using fertility drugs plus IUI), while others put the success rate closer to 20 percent.
On average, a woman under 35 will have a 10 to 20 percent chance of pregnancy with each IUI, while a woman over 40 will have a two to five percent chance.
What is the cost of IUI treatment?
IUI is usually less expensive than other fertility treatments, like IVF.
IUI treatment cost varies from clinic to clinic. It depends on the type of medications used.
Your doctor may not use any medicines if you are young and visiting for the first time. Natural cycle IUI will cost less for you.
If you are using Recombinant injections then cost goes up. Cost of IUI treatment includes the cost of medications, IUI preparation and supportive medications after the procedure.
Cost breakup for IUI treatment will depend on Type of ovulation induction, procedure of IUI and supportive medicines used. IUI treatment cost may vary between 5000 INR to 40000 INR per cycle
Factors for a successful IUI programme –
Healthy sperm (Sperm count, motility and morphology should be good)
Timing of IUI – for a healthy pregnancy the sperm and egg should meet within 24 hrs. of ovulation. An aged or degenerated egg cannot yield a healthy pregnancy.
Fallopian tube should not have any blockage or obstruction.
Similarly, the quality of egg should be good, an egg with thick covering(zona) does not allow sperm to enter inside the egg.
The uterus should be prepared well to receive the embryo otherwise implantation does not happen.
When is IUI used?
The most common conditions where IUI is recommended :
Low sperm count or decreased sperm mobility.
A hostile cervical condition, including cervical mucus problems
Cervical scar tissue from past procedures which may hinder the sperms’ ability to enter the uterus
Success rate in IUI :
The success of IUI depends on several factors. If a couple has the IUI procedure performed each month, success rates may reach as high as 20% per cycle depending on variables such as female age, the reason for infertility, and whether fertility drugs were used, among other variables.
What are the types of IUI treatment used?
Various type of protocols are used in IUI treatment depending on the fertility parameters of couple. If you are young your doctor may try natural cycle IUI. Ovulation induction is used in patients who fail in natural cycle IUI or have been trying for few years.
IUI can be done after down regulation of hormones. PCOS patients are advised this type of IUI treatment. Your doctor may do the IUI procedure after confirmation of ovulation by ultrasound. Some doctors prefer to do IUI before ovulation. They may conduct a second IUI procedure after ovulation.
What are the limitations of IUI treatment?
Before starting IUI procedure your fertility specialist will explain about success rate and limitations. IUI is a simple procedure with low success. Hence your doctor prepares for 3- 4 cycles of IUI to increase chances of pregnancy. With each cycle of ovulation induction you will lose few good eggs.
Women have limited eggs in their ovary and it is not advisable to waste by repeated ovulation induction. After 3 to 4 failed IUI cycles you can take a break or opt for IVF treatment. After few cycles IUI treatment cost amounts to IVF treatment. At times infertility in couples are unexplained and IUI treatment fails for them.
Steps followed in IUI treatment are –
1) Ovulation induction to grow follicles. Follicular growth is monitored by ultrasound and hormone tests. Follicles are tracked until they grow more than 18 mm.
2) Release of egg is done by administering HCG injection.
3) IUI preparation and insemination to the uterus.
4) Luteal support and guide for pregnancy check.
IUI is the simple and most common fertility treatment used worldwide.
Often patients ask for IUI treatment as it is less costly and simple to perform. However, it is not suitable for all infertile couples.
It has some prerequisites or conditions. Functioning fallopian tubes, good sperm count and healthy sperms are essential for IUI success.
You have to undergo basic tests like semen analysis, hormone tests and HSG test before undergoing IUI treatment.