Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is one of the attendant reproductive methods involving introduction of male sperm to be collected beforehand under no coitus conditions into a female uterus. This operation is painless and is performed in the outpatient setting. A patient is in conscience and does not experience any unpleasant feelings. A small-size catheter (of 2 mm in dia.) is used to perform the IUI operation.

Indications to Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

This procedure can be prescribed in those cases where the quantity of spermatozoa is not enough for natural fertilization, or spermatozoa possess low motility, although the number of healthy and active spermatozoa is sufficient to attain the successful result. Clinics apply different criteria to assess quality of sperm and its conformity to specific requirements. If a man cannot have children owing to some genetic diseases or sperm pathologies, the IUI procedure would involve the use of donor’s sperm.

Women who desire, through any reason, to give birth to a baby without assistance of a man may also make use of donor’s sperm. From the legal viewpoint, a sperm donor would not have any rights in respect of a newborn baby. In this case, all and any information about parties involved in the procedure would be strictly confidential.

If a woman was given a diagnosis of cervical infertility, i.e. cervical duct mucus was found too dense and discouraging the entrance of spermatozoa, the IUI method would permit to deliver sperm as close to the fertilization point as possible.  However, in cases of obstruction of uterine tubes intrauterine insemination operations are not performed.

IUI-Preceding Tests

Men:

  • spermogram;
  • infection screening: hepatitis B and C, syphilis, HIV

Women:

  • urogenital smear, cytology;
  • infection screening: hepatitis B and C, syphilis, HIV;
  • ultrasonic scanning and ovulation hormonal monitoring

IUI Procedure

Intrauterine insemination operations are performed during the ovulation period, on day 12-15  of the menstrual cycle. If ovulation is to be stimulated, a woman is prescribed special hormonal drugs, which cause several oocytes to mature in her ovaries. Such medicines should be taken at the beginning of the cycle.

Prior to the procedure, the husband should abstain from sex for 3-4 days. On the day of IUI the man should donate his sperm for the purpose of its special treatment. The sperm is treated to remove prostate and seminal vesicle fluid, immobile spermatozoa and white blood cells.

Further, sperm that was specially treated is introduced into the uterine cavity, using a catheter.

If etiology of infertility causes is unknown, the sperm is injected together with a large quantity of liquid to enhance the chances of successful fertilization.

Two weeks later the pregnancy control test can be conducted.

Chancesand Potential Complications

The post-IUI onset of pregnancy depends on the age of partners, past infections, infertility causes, and many other factors. According to the statistical data, if a man is a source of the conception problem, the successful fertilization level does not exceed the threshold value of 15 %. Should a woman be a source, the rate of success would vary from 18 to 20 %. Intrauterine insemination is recommended for women whose age does not exceed 36. After 40, the chances to get pregnant through the use of this method would be minor.