Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Artificial Insemination in Atlanta
With intrauterine insemination (IUI) or artificial insemination (AI), millions
of sperm are placed directly into the uterus when a woman is most fertile,
immediately prior to and during ovulation. Fertility specialists at our
artificial insemination clinics in Atlanta guide patients who may benefit
by IUI through the process. When discussing the possibility with you,
we will comprehensively review IUI success rates, donor IUI, how IUI is
performed, and other topics that are summarized below.
The sperm cells are placed in a special solution that supports their health
and facilitates the separation of the normal sperm from the sluggish and
non-motile sperm. The motile sperm are then concentrated into a small
volume, and placed high into the uterine cavity with a special catheter
that is passed through the cervix (so-called intrauterine insemination,
or IUI). This improves the chances for conception. IUI may be performed
with or without the use of fertility drugs by the woman.
People who benefit from IUI include:
- Couples with no known cause of infertility
- Couples in which the male has mild to moderate decreased semen quality
- Women with ovulatory disorders who respond well to fertility medication
- Women with mild endometriosis
- Women using donor sperm
- Couples who have infrequent intercourse
If a female patient has no male partner, or her male partner has severe
sperm abnormalities, insemination using donor sperm could be an option.
Donor sperm may be obtained from someone known to the patient or, more
commonly, from a donor sperm bank. We work with many high-quality donor
ACRM prioritizes patient safety for IUI cycles. For this reason, we recommend
donors be screened for infectious diseases, including HIV, at their initial
sperm deposit. The specimen is quarantined for 180 days to allow re-testing
of the donor for infectious diseases (including HIV.) If testing is negative,
the sperm sample is released for IUI. This ensures patient safety, in
accordance with federal guidelines. Donor Sperm Banks should follow this
protocol as well.
How IUI is Performed
During IUI, women can expect:
- The possible use of fertility drugs to stimulate the ovulation of more
than one oocyte
- Ovulation monitoring with a combination of at-home (home ovulation predictor
kits) and clinic (ultrasound, blood tests) techniques.
- Monitoring by the clinic for any adverse effects of fertility drugs
- A hormone injection to time ovulation
The man's role is to provide a semen sample on the morning of insemination.
The semen sample is prepared and then inserted through the cervix and
into the uterus by way of a thin plastic catheter. The procedure takes
place in the clinic and is relatively painless.
Possible IUI Complications
Though complications of IUI are infrequent, they include infection and
uterine cramping. Also, fertility medications have potential side effects,
including ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome and multiple pregnancies.
If no pregnancy is achieved after three IUI's, our Reproductive Endocrinology
specialists may recommend more advanced reproductive therapies such as
IVF (in vitro fertilization).
IUI Success Rates
The average chance for pregnancy following an IUI is about 15% for women
under 35, about 10% for women between 35 and 40, and only about 5% for
those in their early 40s. This is based on our results over the past 12
years involving nearly 20,000 cycles of treatment in which the IUI was
combined with either clomiphene or letrozole.