Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is one of the safe and high efficiency infertility procedures which are widely popular at assisted reproductive centers in the world. The technique helps define accurately the number of motile sperm to be placed in the woman’s uterus. Together with controlled ovarian stimulation, this technique increases the success rate of fertilization.
What is intrauterine insemination (IUI)?
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a modern assisted reproductive technique in which the specialist slides a thin tube carrying washed sperm into the woman’s uterus. The basic principle of IUI is reducing adverse impacts of vaginal environment and cervical mucus on sperm as well as putting sperm in the nearest position to the egg, thus increasing the chance of fertilization.
However, the technique requires the female patient to have a least one patent fallopian tube and active ovaries. The male patient’s spermigram should be normal, or mildly abnormal.
Who is intrauterine insemination (IUI) suitable for?
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is indicated for following cases:
– Unexplained infertility
– Cervical elements: cervical mucus is not favorable (thick consistency or sperm antibody)
– Endometriosis (mild)
– Ejaculation disorders
– Physical or physiological erection dysfunctions, retrograde ejaculation, or spinal cord injury
– Reduced quality sperm (mild)
– Combination of several mentioned above factors
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) Procedure
Step 1: Health Check-up
Patients are examined and required to take some specific blood tests to make sure that they are qualified for the procedure of intrauterine insemination (IUI). If all conditions are good, the patients will be allowed to take the next steps.
Step 2: Ovarian stimulation
On the second or third day of her menstrual cycle, the female patient is asked to take some medications to hyperstimulate the antral follicles of the ovaries. The specialist will monitor these follicles’ development and evaluate the status of the ovaries by ultrasound. When the egg is mature, another hormone will be injected to trigger the ovulation. The specialist will inform you the date of insemination then.
Step 3: Retrieve and prepare sperm
The husband must abstain from ejaculation for 3-5 days before the day of insemination. On the date, his sperm will be collected under the clear guidance of the specialist. Preparation of the sperm takes place in the laboratory to remove weak, deformed and less motile sperm as well as other components in semen before insemination.
Step 4: Inject sperm into the wife’s uterus
The Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is timed to take place 36-40 hours after administration of injection which triggers ovulation. On the day of insemination, couples are required to present at the clinic 2 hours earlier as it takes 1 to 1.5 hours to prepare sperm.
Once the sperm preparation process is completed, the intrauterine insemination will be performed. The specialist will slide a small, soft, sterile catheter through the female patient’s cervical canal and directly insert the sperm into her uterus. The technique is simple, usually pain-free, and safe and can be performed quickly.
Step 5: Beta-hCG blood test
After the insemination, the patient may be indicated to take luteal supporting medicationns, especially in cycles with follicle stimulation. 12 to 14 days after IUI, the patient will take beta-hCG test to know the result of pregnancy.
Advantages of intrauterine insemination (IUI)
– Able to select high quality sperm with good motility; concentrate sperm in a small volume, which facilitates the treatment
– Remove dead cells, most of microorganisms and toxic parts in semen
– Remove a majority of prostaglandins in semen, reducing the risk of uterine contraction after IUI
– Stimulate sperm’s acrosomal reaction, increase sperm motility, which facilitates fertilization
– Reduce the risk of infection caused by semen since the current methods for preparing sperm can detect and remove most of microorganism in semen
– Avoid the risk of anaphylactic shock sometimes occurring when the semen is in the uterine cavity.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) success rate
The success rate of intrauterine insemination (IUI) depends on the assisted reproductive center that performs it, the specialist, indications and the patients’ conditions. Particularly:
– Clinical pregnancy rate per cycle using IUI decreases with age of the woman, significantly reduces when the woman reaches the age of 35 or older. Some specialists recommend not to apply IUI for patients who are over 40 years old as the treatment efficiency is too low.
– The success rate decreases after 3 cycles using IUI. Therefore, patients who are at their advanced maternal age (older than 35 years old) are advised not to keep taking IUI. Most of specialists suggest patients to use In vitro Fertilization (IVF) after 6 failed IUI cycles.
– Numerous researches show that the total number of motile sperm per semen sample must be about 10 – 20 million or the total number of motile sperm in each insemination sample must be at least 5 million to ensure the success of IUI.
Risks of Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine insemination (IUI)’s risks may include:
– Reproductive tract infection
– Uterine contraction
– Sexually transmitted diseases
However, the risks only occur when using fresh sperm to inject into the uterus and rarely happen with washed sperm. To avoid possible risks, patients should be examined and take necessary blood tests in advance.
In the cases that the wife is indicated to take medications to stimulate ovulation, they may face some other risks such as:
– Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome
– Multiple pregnancy
– Allergic reactions (rare)
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) at Hong Ngoc IVF Center
Aiming to be the leading assisted reproductive center in Vietnam and helping infertile couples to pursuit the happiness of having baby, Hong Ngoc IVF Center always focuses on updating the world’s most advanced assisted reproductive techniques. As one of them, intrauterine insemination (IUI) has been performed since October 2013. In this 5 years, there have been thousands of IUI cycles performed at Hong Ngoc IVF Center, Hong Ngoc General Hospital. As the statistic figures showed, the success rate of IUI at other centers is from 15% to 30% but the rate of successful IUI fertilization at Hong Ngoc IVF Center reaches 35 – 40%.
At Hong Ngoc IVF Center, IUI technique is performed by our highly qualified team of specialists who have years of experienced and have participated in in-depth training courses in Czech Republic. In addition, all steps of IUI procedure take place in a safe and sterile environment with the support of state-of-art facilities following European standards, ensuring the success of IUI treatment.
Particularly, when coming to Hong Ngoc IVF Center, each couple will be advised with a customized plan of treatment and package which is most suitable for their health and financial conditions, both increasing the fertilization rate and reducing costs.