Infertility Basics: Answering What Is IUI
Infertility is not all high technology.
Not for everyone.
Many of us are able to be treated without IVF (In Vitro Fertilization).
An IUI or Intrauterine Insemination is a fertility treatment that is highly effective, depending on your diagnosis.
It is also included as part of the Connecticut State Mandate.
Three IUI cycles are included for those who qualify for that mandate.
Below, IUI is explained in a step by step process. Still have questions whether it's right for you?
If you have been trying to conceive for a year and you are under 35, call a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist. If you are over 35, only wait for six months to call.
About IUI (Intrauterine Insemination): A Form of Artificial Insemination
Intrauterine insemination involves placing a concentrated semen sample in the uterine cavity to improve the chances of conception. IUI is a form of artificial insemination.
Intrauterine insemination serves three basic purposes:
- It gets a high concentration of sperm into the female reproductive tract, increasing the chance of sperm reaching the egg to achieve fertilization.
- It helps to get higher number of sperm high into the female reproductive tract, which helps overcome mild to moderate male fertility problems. With the help of our office and the use of an ovulation predictor kit, your fertility specialist is able to synchronize timing to optimize your chances of becoming pregnant.
- Additionally, when combined with ovulation induction or superovulation, IUI can treat many causes of infertility. Among them:
- Ovarian dysfunction (inability to ovulate normally on your own)
- Infertility associated with endometriosis (a painful inflammatory condition of the female pelvis)
- Cervical factor infertility (related to prior surgery)
- Unexplained infertility (infertility in which the exact cause cannot be identified).
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (a common female endocrine disorder)
Intrauterine insemination offers a multi-faceted approach to augmenting a couple’s fertility.
The Role of IUI in Male Infertility
For example, male infertility is a factor in about a third of all infertile couples, usually attributable to low sperm count, abnormal sperm or motility problems. By concentrating more sperm in the female reproductive tract, the odds of achieving a pregnancy increase.
The sperm are concentrated using a multi-step process called sperm washing. The technique removes excess seminal fluid that can cause cramping or pain if it is not washed away at the time of intrauterine insemination.
In other cases, inadequate cervical secretions and antibodies may act as barriers to sperm entering the female reproductive tract and penetrating the egg. IUI places the sperm beyond those barriers, again increasing the chances of fertilization and pregnancy.
IUI is an effective treatment for both male fertility problems and couples with unexplained infertility. In couples with unexplained infertility where all other testing is normal, intrauterine insemination (IUI) combined with ovulation induction/superovulation can double a couple’s chance for pregnancy.
Most physicians recommend three to six IUI attempts before moving on to more aggressive treatment.
As always, contact us for more information about Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).
Lisa Rosenthal's Google+
Infertility Decisions: A Story of Nine IUI's
"Stuck in irons, straight into the wind."
I like that phrase.
Particularly when it comes to fertility treatment.
Sometimes we just get to a place where making a decision feels impossible.
For example, I did 9 IUI's (intrauterine insemination, sometimes referred to as artificial insemination).
If you're an experienced fertility treatment patient, if you've looked infertility right in the eye, you know that sounds excessive.
It is excessive. Not just because it was 9 IUI's. But also because my fertility doctors and medical team were suggesting other options. I wasn't willing to hear them.
I was stuck.
I was young. I was kind of dumb. I'm not connecting those two things and insinuating that you are dumb, if you are young. I am not insinuating that young is dumb. I'm strictly talking about myself here!
I was young. I was kind of dumb. And I was scared.
Not a winning combination. A truthful analysis however. Definitely a combination that would create the feeling of being stuck.
I like the phrase, "stuck in irons, straight into the wind".
It's a sailing term. Roughly, it means that the bow (front) of your boat is headed directly into the wind, making it impossible for the sails to fill with wind. So you just sit there, with wind all around, unable to make use of it.
Fertility Treatment Options: When to Look Around
That was me. There were lots of fertility treatment options all around, I had great doctors who tried to lead me into different treatment protocols and I sat there, stuck.
When in a sailboat, stuck in the wind, one needs to gently move in almost any direction to fill the sails. The rudder turns the boat one way or another, and fills the sails, if there is wind.
Maybe I'm being unduly harsh about my younger self. If I add a little compassion then perhaps it's true that what I needed to do was sit there as long as I did to find the course of treatment that I was comfortable with.
I don't know anymore.
I do know that sitting quietly and considering has a lot of value. And that action is necessary. We all have our ways of finding balance between those two and we all come to different conclusions.
Sometimes it's moving ahead, despite feeling scared about our choice; trusting ourselves and our doctors that it's time.
Sometimes it's sitting quietly. Longer than it makes sense to other people because it makes sense to us.
Check in with other people that you trust and respect. Let them reflect back to you how you're feeling and what you're thinking.
Decide whether it's time to move around and catch the wind.
Bear with me.
I haven't written a blog about the weather in a long time.
So here goes.
Rain or snow?
It's October, I live on the east coast of the United States.
Let's go with rain.
Unless it snows.
For those of us who experience infertility, these rapid changes in temperature, precipitation and forecasting feel very familiar.
Changes in medication and treatment, even in the middle of an IUI (intrauterine insemination cycle) or IVF (invitro fertilization) cycle are fairly common.
Just like the weather, the smallest of details add up and create change.
As one of my best friends always quotes, "a butterfly flaps it's wings in Paris and we have a hurricaine in Florida".
Anyone out there have trouble with these swiftly changing plans? Anyone out there feel out of control?
Welcome to infertility.
My friends are floating around in my head today. So is my sister.
Here's what I consider.
The Serenity Prayer:
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Oh, what I wouldn't do for an extra dose of wisdom today.
Fertile Yoga tonight in Brookfield/Danbury.
I'm looking forward to seeing you.
Until then, I'm just keeping an eye out for what's going on outside.
Sometimes that's just easier than checking the weather forecast.