Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is the first line of treatment for assisted reproduction. In this procedure, the woman is given hormones in order to produce one or more eggs. At the time of ovulation, the sperm is washed and concentrated, and placed directly in the uterus for fertilization, thereby increasing the likelihood of pregnancy. This procedure is relatively painless and non-invasive as compared to other assisted reproduction procedures and even costs less.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) may be recommended if you are using your partner’s sperm, your sperm, or donor sperm. It can also be recommended in cases of unexplained infertility, mild endometriosis, cervical factor infertility, ovulatory factor infertility, low sperm count, or motility or issues associated with ejaculation or erection.

It is also the first line of assisted reproduction treatment for the following wishing to conceive:

  • same-sex couples or
  • a single woman or
  • a heterosexual couple opting for a donor sperm

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) Program at CReATe West Fertility

CReATe West Fertility has a well-recognized and reputed IUI treatment plan, based on more than two decades of medical practice and successful patient outcomes. Both IUI and cycle monitoring medical services are provided at CReATe West Fertility. This is highly advantageous for patients residing in Etobicoke, Mississauga, and surrounding areas, as they can save travel and wait time while still maintaining access to a world-renowned IVF program in CReATe Fertility Toronto.

What do I expect during an Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) procedure?

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is relatively painless and non-invasive. This procedure may or may not include medications to induce ovulation. Hence the sperm can be placed during a woman’s natural cycle (without medication) or ovaries can be stimulated with medications for egg maturation and release. Ovulation with more than one egg usually increases the chances of pregnancy.

1. What to expect before the procedure?

  • Based on your blood tests, ultrasound, hormonal analysis, and medical history assessment, your fertility specialist may recommend Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) as a line of treatment for assisted reproduction.
  • You may be prescribed medication and will be recommended to come for another round of diagnostic procedures. Depending on your test results, your doctor will determine when you’re ovulating, and you and your partner will return to the clinic. This is typically 10 to 16 days after starting the medications.
  • On the day of your procedure, your male partner may share a semen sample, or donor sperm may be thawed.
  • The sperm sample is then washed and concentrated in the lab immediately and prepared for the IUI procedure.
  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is simple, safe, painless and can be performed in the clinic without any anesthesia.

2. What to expect during the procedure?

  • Your doctor will request you to lie down on an examination table and will use a speculum to gently open your vagina and view your cervix.
  • The laboratory processed, washed, and concentrated sperm is then passed through the cervix and placed into the uterus with the help of a long thin tube.
  • You will be requested to stay at the examination table for 10-30 minutes.
  • The majority of the women don’t feel any discomfort, while few may experience cramping or vaginal bleeding.
  • A second IUI procedure might also be recommended on the second day
  • You may also be prescribed some medicines to maintain the hormone levels to assist pregnancy or conception
  • You will also be advised to take the pregnancy test after two weeks of the IUI procedure

3. What are the risks associated with Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a safe, relatively painless, and non-invasive procedure with few risks. A few of the rare risks are listed below. You can discuss the same with your fertility specialist and be informed.

  • Infections due to unsterilized instruments – this is rare
  • Pregnancy with multiple babies
  • Rare case of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, where you can have an enlarged ovary, fluid buildup in the abdomen, and cramping due to reactive response to fertility medication
  • Dizziness, nausea, or shortness of breath
  • Abdominal swelling, bloating, or pain

4. What is the success rate of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?

Every couple has a different medical history and hence their response to this line of treatment can be different, however, IUI has turned out to have high success rates for assisted reproduction. Numerous factors may impact the success of the procedure:

  • Age
  • Medical history, injuries, or comorbidities causing or impacting infertility
  • Use of fertility drugs

Success rates for IUI tend to decrease in women over the age of 40, and in women who have not gotten pregnant after three cycles of IUI. You should discuss your predicted success rate with your fertility specialist to see if this is a good option for you.

Overall, we can conclude that around 80% of the pregnancies occur within 3 IUI cycles. Based on how you are responding to medication and your medical history, your fertility specialist may recommend a certain number of IUI cycles, usually not exceeding 4-6 until pregnancy. If you are still not able to conceive, other assisted reproduction procedures may be recommended.