The number of options available for Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) might seem daunting at first glance, particularly if you don’t know where to start. One such option is intrauterine insemination, also referred to as IUI. Of the various fertility treatment options, this particular one is less invasive and less expensive than In Vitro Fertilization.
Our hope is to more fully explain the ins and outs of these options so that you and your partner can begin the process by making decisions that are right for you. This is why we are embarking on a series of posts that will cover the various forms of assisted reproductive treatments.
Below, you'll learn more about IUI.
Who Might Need Intrauterine Insemination?
Couples who have unexplained fertility issues, or who have difficulty having sex for various reasons. Intrauterine Insemination is also a good option if the male partner has lower quality semen, but enough sperm to make the treatment worthwhile.
What Does IUI Involve?
Depending on a couple’s situation, the woman may or may not be a candidate for fertility drugs. In some instances, the procedure can be performed based on her natural ovulation cycle. In most, she will need to receive pills or injections to help stimulate ovulation.
If you do wind up receiving drugs to aid in ovulation, your cycle will be carefully monitored. The Intrauterine Insemination will need to take place around the actual time of ovulation. Once the spike in luteinizing hormone has occurred, you and your partner will need to visit the fertility clinic within 24-36 hours.
Once in the clinic, the process is very simple. Your partner will need to produce a semen sample on-site. That will then be washed to rid the specimen of any poor-quality sperm. Typically, the medical professionals there will perform an ultrasound to ensure that your egg is mature and ready for fertilization, at which point you will need to lie on the examination table exactly as you would for an annual exam.
The act of inserting your partner’s semen is relatively painless. A catheter (or tube) will be inserted through the vaginal canal and cervix, and release the sample directly into your uterus near a fallopian tube. It is typically over within just a few minutes. After that, couples will simply need to play a brief waiting game, as there is a waiting period of at least two weeks before results of a treatment come in. “Brief” is a relative term here, we know - those two weeks can feel much longer as you wait for good news!
What are the Average Costs of IUI?
According to RESOLVE (an organization that performed heavy research on fertility clinics across the country), the average price of an Intrauterine Insemination cycle is around $865. The median price is $350. What they found during their research is that costs of these fertility treatment options varied from $275 to $2,457 - which is quite the range! They also discovered that some clinics included the price of medications, sonograms, blood work, etc., while others did not.
So if you and your partner are experiencing fertility issues and are looking into the Intrauterine Insemination option, make sure to ask for pricing on everything the procedure will entail, just so you are well-informed to make an accurate decision.
Learn more about the cost of fertility treatments.
Brush up on IVF and cervical cap insemination.
What Are the Success Rates for IUI?
Success rates are very much dependent on several factors. They depend on what the couple’s fertility issues were in the first place, of course, as well as the woman’s age and whether she uses fertility drugs. According to the American Association for Reproductive Medicine, couples who receive Intrauterine Insemination treatments once a month can see a success rate as high as 20%.
Is an Intrauterine Insemination is right for you?
Think about your goal in receiving fertility treatment. The whole goal of the Intrauterine Insemination specifically is to help couples who need help getting pregnant have a headstart. By getting the sperm closer to the fallopian tubes, it gives them a better chance at fertilizing the woman’s egg. Whether this treatment is right for you is ultimately up to you and your partner, though.