Tests and early treatments

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a procedure of placing washed sperm directly into the cavity of the uterus of the woman. The sperm preparation (washing) is performed by Care Fertility scientists.

Who is best suited for IUI treatment?

IUI is best for couples who are unable to complete coitus (sexual intercourse) or when donor sperm is being used to conceive the pregnancy. In couples who are using IUI to improve their chance of conception the couples generally should be young and the female should have fallopian tubes which are open and completely normal.

What does the IUI treatment involve?

Firstly, before starting IUI treatment, blood tests are required. The male who will provide the semen sample must have blood tests for infection (hepatitis, syphilis and HIV/AIDS). The female having the IUI, is required to have the same blood tests and all the blood tests performed before pregnancy. (antenatal screening tests)

IUI should be performed close to the time of ovulation when the female’s, which is determined by an ultrasound scan and blood test.

The preparation of the sperm is performed at Care Fertility (which takes about two hours). IUI treatment is performed at Care Fertility under the supervision of a doctor, and is often performed by staff of Care Fertility who have been trained in the technique. Alternatively the sample sample is taken to the doctor’s consulting rooms for IUI by the doctor.

Are there any risks of IUI?

There is a small risk of infection in the fallopian tubes with IUI which is estimated at 1:500. Occasionally there is slight discomfort during the procedure but this is minimal.

What is the success rate of IUI?

Success rates with IUI vary according to the cause of infertility and the age of the female and male but are lower than success rates of IVF. If clomiphene is used the success rate is 6% per cycle if the couple have been trying to conceive for 2 or more years. If FSH is used the success rate is 8-13% per cycle if the couple have been trying to conceive for 2 or more years. If a woman is using donated sperm or is unable to have coitus natural cycle IUI (no medications used to stimulate ovulation) may be used and the success rates vary from 10% (frozen donated sperm) to 20% (fresh sperm from partner).

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