Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Successful for a variety of infertility diagnoses
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is often the first assisted fertility treatment that a couple may want to try if they're having trouble conceiving on their own.
This simple in-office procedure requires the male partner -or donor- to produce a sperm sample that your doctor will then place directly into the woman’s uterine cavity during peak ovulation.
IUI is used to treat many forms of infertility, but it is especially successful when the cause of infertility is related to male factor (low sperm count, low sperm motility, or ejaculatory issues).
Which type of fertility treatment you decide to pursue is very much an individual choice that should be decided upon between you, your partner if applicable and your physician. Below are some of the reasons that our patients have chosen IUI.
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a gentler and less invasive fertility treatment than traditional IVF. For patients needing only low-level intervention, success rates for IUI treatment are higher than monitored, and timed intercourse. An IUI can provide that helpful little boost that makes all the difference.
- IUI can address issues including ovulation irregularity, cervical mucus problems, and mild sperm problems.
- IUI is significantly more economical than traditional IVF and is covered by some insurance policies that may exclude full coverage for fertility treatments.
IUI can be successful for a variety of fertility problems, especially minor sperm issues such as a low sperm count or low motility, in which the sperm do not move well. Since an IUI bypasses the cervix, it can also be the solution when there is an incompatibility between the natural cervical mucus and the sperm. You should consider an IUI if:
- You don't have any fertility problems but wish to make use of donor sperm in a controlled environment with the assurance that the sperm is healthy and disease-free.
- You are a woman under 35 and have been unable to conceive after a year of unprotected sex with no specific diagnosis. We call this unexplained infertility and IUI is the gold standard for first-line treatment. In the case of women over 35, the timescale decreases to six months of unprotected sex with no conception. This is because the window for successful fertility treatment diminishes with the natural decline in fertility after 35.
- IUI is also a good option in some male factor infertility situations, such as medical or other conditions preventing the male partner from ejaculating, or in cases of decreased sperm quality or quantity.
- IUI can also be very helpful for couples unable to be together for long periods of time, allowing for both partners to be in different places while still working to grow their family.
Because IUI reflects natural conception more closely, it may be necessary to have more than one round of artificial insemination before a pregnancy is achieved. Your age and diagnosis will have a lot to do with success rates, and indeed whether you are a good candidate for IUI at all. These are our estimates of success rates depending on age and common factors:
- Age 25 – 30, 20% per cycle
- Age 30 – 35, 18% per cycle
- Age 35 – 40, 16% per cycle
- Age 40 – 45, 7% per cycle
- Diagnosis of ovulation disorders and PCOS, 22% average per cycle all ages
- Diagnosis of unexplained and male factor, 17% average per cycle all ages
- Diagnosis of low ovarian reserve, endometriosis, or tubal factors, 13% average per cycle all ages