FAQs on Intrauterine Insemination in Los Angeles
Also called artificial insemination, intrauterine insemination (IUI) dates back as far as the late 18th century. This procedure is now more sophisticated than it was back then. Today, the sperm are “washed” and then placed inside the uterus.
Is intrauterine insemination right for me?
IUI helps many women conceive when the male partner has a low sperm count or problems with sperm motility (movement). This procedure is more successful when the woman is taking certain medications to stimulate ovulation or for egg production. Fertility problems treatable with intrauterine insemination include cervical scarring, cervical mucus abnormalities, and unexplained infertility in women, as well as problems with erection or ejaculation in men.
Can a woman use donor sperm for IUI?
If the male partner is sterile, or if a single or lesbian woman wishes to conceive, donor sperm can be used.
What is involved in the intrauterine insemination procedure?
IUI first requires ovulation and for at least one fallopian tube to be open. Each IUI treatment is called a “cycle”, which is the time from the first day of your period to ovulation. The steps include:
• Egg production
• Tracking the eggs
• Washing the sperm
• Testing for pregnancy
What is egg production?
Egg production usually occurs naturally, but the doctor may prescribe a fertility drug to stimulate the ovaries to produce more than one mature egg.
What is involved with egg tracking?
Ovulation is when the eggs mature. The doctor will give you an ovulation detection kit to pinpoint ovulation. When an egg bursts from the follicle, the kit shows a luteinizing hormone (LH) surge, so you are ready for insemination.
Often times a woman is prescribed a medication called HCG, which will trigger ovulation.
How are sperm washed?
The sperm are washed in the laboratory in a process that concentrates the best, hardiest sperm in a tiny amount of fluid.
How is insemination done?
The doctor uses a long, thin tube (catheter) to insert the concentrated, washed sperm into the uterus. This procedure is fairly painless, but can produce some cramping sensations. Insemination only takes a few minutes to perform.
How many IUI cycles will I have?
Before getting pregnant, most women have 3-4 cycles of intrauterine insemination. IUI does not guarantee pregnancy each time, so several attempts are necessary.
What is the success rate of intrauterine insemination?
The success of intrauterine insemination depends on the woman’s age and the couple’s fertility problems. For couples with unexplained infertility, studies show the pregnancy rate for each natural IUI cycle to be around 5%. When fertility drugs are required, the pregnancy rate goes up to around 15%, but there are no national statistics on live birth rates at present.
The average cost of an intrauterine insemination cycle using your partner’s sperm is around $900. These treatment costs vary depending on the type of medication required, where you live, and individual screening and evaluation costs.
What are the benefits of intrauterine insemination?
There are many advantages to intrauterine insemination. It is less invasive than many forms of assisted reproductive technology treatments, such as in vitro fertilization. In addition, the procedure allows fertilization to occur within the body, and couples with male fertility problems have an easier time conceiving this way than with intercourse.
What are the cons of IUI?
The disadvantages to intrauterine insemination are:
• The couple must go to the doctor’s office as soon as ovulation occurs.
• The partner must be able to produce a semen sample through masturbation at the clinic and on short notice.
• Fertility drugs are linked to conceiving two or more babies.
• Fertility drugs increase the risk for developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS).