Artificial insemination may benefit some couples who are having a hard time getting pregnant by natural means. Some conditions that may be helped by IUI (or intrauterine insemination) are low sperm count, impotence, poor interaction between sperm and cervical mucus, endometriosis, and unexplained infertility.
The most common type of insemination is called IUI, or intrauterine insemination, which is the placement of sperm into a woman’s uterus by means other than the natural process that occurs during sexual intercourse.
The procedure is performed when the woman is ovulating, so ovulation must be determined by ovulation testing, basal body temperature charting, and cervical mucus examination.
The sperm is collected and then “washed” and inserted with a catheter into the uterus. The washing of the sperm is done in order to separate out any weak or dead sperm and unwanted chemicals, giving the sperm a better chance of survival and thus better ability to fertilize the egg.
IUI Success Rates
The success rate of IUI may be as high as 20% each cycle with 5-20% chance of pregnancy being the typical range. Although success rates are higher for other forms of fertility treatments such as IVF, artificial insemination is often a first choice for those who have exhausted natural means of conception. It is less invasive and less expensive than the more complex procedures.
It is also a simpler procedure with few side effects. IUI success rates depend on the couples’ age, egg quality, sperm quality, and other fertility issues such as endometriosis or damage to fallopian tubes.
Couples will typically try IUI treatments for three to six cycles before either becoming pregnant or trying another type of procedure. Although IUI does not work for every couple, it is a fairly non-invasive procedure that gives many couples a chance at conception that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
Pregnancy Symptoms After IUI
The pregnancy symptoms after IUI are the same as if you became pregnant through natural means. See my Very Early Pregnancy Signs for some of the pregnancy symptoms that are most common.
Read about other Infertility Treatments