Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) as a Fertility Treatment Option - Coastal Fertility Medical Centerby Coastal Fertility Medical Center Coastal Fertility Medical Center
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is the least invasive when it comes to fertility treatment options. It can be done with or without fertility drugs. IUI involves transferring specially washed sperm directly into the uterus via a thin catheter. Intrauterine Insemination is also commonly known as Artificial Insemination (AI).
IUI treatment might be recommended in the following situations:
Treatment with fertility drugs is not successful
Hostile cervical mucus
If a sperm donor is being used
IUI is not recommended for those with blocked fallopian tubes, severe endometriosis, or a previous pelvic infection.
Cost of IUI
In some cases, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is usually the first recommended fertility treatment option. IUI is much easier compared to other assisted reproductive technologies like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and it also costs much less.
According to a survey conducted nation-wide in the United States, the average cost of an IUI fertility treatment is $895. However, the actual price varies considerably from clinic to clinic. You will need to verify with the clinic that the cost is only for the procedure itself. There may be additional costs such as additional tests, blood work, and an ultrasound. Make sure you are clear about the price of the complete cycle before you start your treatment.
A single cycle of IVF may cost you around $19,000, which is much higher than the average cost of IUI.
Your cycle will be dependent on your doctor’s recommendation and whether you are on fertility drugs.
Clomid or Letrozole with IUI – Intrauterine Insemination can be combined with a Clomid or Letrozole treatment cycle. In this situation, you’ll have your blood test and ultrasound as soon as your next period starts. This is to confirm that you don’t have any ovarian cysts or are not pregnant.
If everything looks good, you’ll start your cycle with fertility drugs issued by your physician. Blood work and ultrasound monitoring may or may not be required.
Your doctor will be monitoring your cycle regularly and will schedule the IUI procedure just before ovulation. If not, your doctor may ask you to use an ovulation predictor test at home. When the test result indicates ovulation is near, you’ll have to schedule blood work and an ultrasound for your IUI procedure.
Gonadotropins with IUI – Drugs such as FSH, hMG and hCG are injectable fertility Gonadotropin drugs. Gonal-F, Follistim, and Ovidrel are some of the brand names you may recognize.
You will be required to call your doctor and schedule an appointment for an ultrasound and bloodwork upon getting your period. This is to confirm that you’re not pregnant or don’t have any problematic ovarian cysts.
You will have to self-administer injections according to your physician’s instructions. You’ll also have to go through transvaginal ultrasounds and/or blood work throughout the process. The ultrasound will be used to look for developing follicles. It is also used to count the total number of follicles, how quickly they are growing and if they are near maturity. On the other hand, the blood work will measure your estradiol and progesterone.
Your fertility medication will be based on your hormone levels and the number of follicles growing on your ovaries. Once the follicles reach maturity, you will receive a trigger shot of hCG and the doctor will schedule your IUI procedure, usually after 36 hours.
The IUI Procedure
The IUI procedure is fairly simple. It will be carried out in your fertility clinic. Your partner will come on the day of the procedure and give a semen sample. If your partner is not available the day of the procedure, they can provide a sample beforehand. In this case it will be frozen until the day of the procedure. It will then be thawed and prepared.
The semen will be put through special washing procedure to take out all the impurities and leave only what’s required for conception.
For the procedure, you’ll have to lie down on a gynaecological table and a small thin catheter tube will be placed in your cervix. You may feel some mild cramping, similar to what you may feel during a pap smear. The washed semen will then be transferred to your uterus via catheter tube. After that, the catheter will be removed and you’re done!
You may be required to remain lying horizontally for a short period of time after the procedure is completed. You don’t need to worry at all as the sperm is transferred directly into your uterus.
What to Expect Post-Procedure
Once the procedure is complete, you may be prescribed progesterone, which is usually taken as a vaginal suppository.
Approximately one week after your IUI procedure, you may be required to undergo more bloodwork. Your progesterone, estrogen, and levels hCG levels will be checked.
Within 12 to 14 days post procedure, your physician will order another blood test. This is the one that will determine if you’re pregnant! Waiting to find out the results can be very stressful. Just be sure to take care of yourself!
Risks of IUI
IUI has relatively low risks compared to other fertility treatments. There is a very small chance of infection. The biggest risk is from fertility medications used for the procedure. Using Gonadotropins may put you at risk of developing Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS).
There is a slightly higher risk of multiple pregnancies while using Gonadotropin drugs so close monitoring is crucial. If there are too many follicles, the cycle may be cancelled and will need be attempted again from the start.
If your cycle is cancelled because of too many follicles, you will probably be advised to abstain from sexual intercourse. It is very important to listen to you physician in this case. If you have sexual intercourse and do conceive, you may be putting yourself and your future children at risk.
Success Rate of IUI
In cases where fertility drugs and IUI were combined, the success rate is 15 to 17 percent. The ratio is per cycle, so, the rate is much higher when multiple cycles are combined together.
Your personal success rate will vary depending on your age and the cause of your infertility. In a study, researchers found the success rate as below
55% for cervical factor infertility
47.5% for infertility caused due to problems with ovulation
41.7% for male factor infertility
35% for unexplained fertility
14% for poor sperm motility
10% for endometriosis
In a study conducted, just 4% of women conceived successfully without using fertility drugs during their IUI cycle.
The success rate of IVF is higher, but IUI is significantly less expensive. IUI is easier and less invasive. If you are considering IUI as a fertility treatment option, we’re here to help. You can reach out to Coastal Fertility Medical Center, a fertility clinic Orange County, by calling 949-726-0600 or visiting our website at www.coastalfertility.com.
Created on Aug 6th 2019 03:16. Viewed 415 times.
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