IUI or Intrauterine Insemination is the process where sperm are washed free of seminal plasma and are inserted directly into the uterus.
The procedure is used when the following conditions may prevent natural conception:
- Poor cervical mucus in the female partner
- Antisperm antibodies in the female or male partner
- Excessively high or low sperm counts or low sperm motility
- It is also used for Therapeutic Donor Sperm Insemination
In some cases, the patient may have Ovulation Induction with fertility medications (Clomiphene Citrate or FSH) to increase the number of eggs, which may improve the chances of pregnancy. Ovulation may be triggered by the use of HCG injection either at home or at NFC in order to determine the timing of the insemination.
Timing the IUI: The patient will monitor her cycle to determine when ovulation is most likely to occur by monitoring her LH surge with an at-home urine-LH test kit (Ovukit) or ultrasound in our office.
Note: The semen specimen should be collected in an approved specimen container, which should be obtained from our office. Semen collected in any other container cannot be accepted by the laboratory.
Sperm Preparation Process: The male partner should avoid ejaculation for a period of 2-5 days before the day of insemination. In a private room in our office, he will collect a semen specimen by masturbation into a sterile container. The sperm are prepared by a special laboratory process (“sperm wash”) that removes the seminal plasma from the sperm and concentrates the sperm into a small volume ready for insemination. The sperm wash takes about one hour.
The Insemination: The patient lies on her back on the exam table in the position for a pelvic exam and a small catheter containing the sperm is passed through the cervix into the uterus where the sperm are expelled. The procedure is usually quick and painless, though rarely, some of our patients do report some discomfort. Following the insemination, the woman remains on the exam table for 15 minutes. She may then resume normal activities. Unless the patient begins her period, she will take a urine pregnancy test about 14 days after insemination (or when her expected period is two days late). Ovulation induction patients will receive instructions about when to take a urine pregnancy test. Blood will be drawn for a quantitative serum pregnancy test (quantitative HCG) if the urine test is positive.
Success Rates for IUI Cycles: The success rate of IUI depends on many factors including the cause of infertility, the female partner’s age, and the predictability of her ovulatory cycles. Factors that decrease the chances of successful pregnancy through IUI include the following: the female partner is older than 35, the presence of endometriosis or a history of pelvic infection or tubal disease, and low sperm count and/or motility in the male partner. Generally, when inseminations are performed monthly, the chance of conceiving during 1 cycle is about 10% for unstimulated or Clomiphene cycles and about 20% for ovulation induction cycles.
IUI Cycle Costs : If the patient is having ovulation induction with fertility medications, the medications will usually cost between $1,500.00 and $2,500.00 per cycle.
The cost for a sperm wash and insemination is $446.00. This cost is not covered by most insurance companies and is payable on the day of insemination. (These are our current charges and are subject to change without notice).
NOTE: When using a Urine LH kit, and testing on a Friday for possible IUI on Saturday, you must test and call to schedule your IUI before 4:00 PM on Friday afternoon. If you pick up your LH surge after 4:00 PM on Friday, be at the office by 9:00 AM on Saturday. You will be seen, however, you may have to wait as you will be worked in with other previously scheduled patients.