IUI is a fertility treatment that has been used since the 18th century. During this time, sperm was inserted into the uterus using something similar to a turkey baster. Today, the process is a little more sophisticated, but the process remains very similar.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
With modern IUI, doctors will use a sperm sample from the male partner or donor sperm to increase a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant. However, instead of just inserting it into the uterus, doctors will first separate the slow moving sperm from the fast moving sperm. The slower sperm will be discarded and only the fast swimming sperm will be used. This method allows women to have a better chance of becoming pregnant because the sperm will have an easier time swimming to the egg.
WHO CAN USE IT?
The great thing about IUI is that it can be used by a number of women with different conditions. For example, women who are not certain of the cause of their infertility can use this procedure to increase their chances of conceiving. However, those who have cervical scarring or other reproductive issues may also choose to use this treatment.
Some couples rely on IUI when they have had sperm frozen in the past or if they need to use donor sperm in order to become pregnant. It is also fairly cost effective, so many couples are able to afford this procedure over other fertility treatments.
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WHO IS NOT A CANDIDATE?
Naturally, there are women who should not rely on IUI to become pregnant. For example, if you have a history of pelvic infections, have endometriosis or a severe disease of your fallopian tubes, IUI will not be an option for you. Instead, you will likely have to rely on another fertility treatment instead.
DOES IT WORK?
There are several factors that go into determining how successful IUI is. For example, the woman’s age, the cause of the infertility as well as which medications are being used could make a huge difference in the success rate of the procedure. For the most part, a 30-year-old woman should expect to see about a 20% success rate each month. However, for women in their 40’s, the rate drops to about 1% a month.
Keep in mind that there are several options out there when it comes to fertility treatments and IUI is only one of them. If you still struggle to conceive even after having an IUI, make sure you talk to your doctor about the rest of your options.