Intrauterine insemination (IUI)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.

IUI Overview

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

Donor IUI

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 sperm banks.

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.