Intrauterine Insemination

At WeFIV, we are specialized professionals with the latest technology. That’s why our success rate is 50%. Half of our patients become pregnant after the first four Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) procedures.

What is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a low complexity treatment aimed at increasing the chances of pregnancy by introducing previously selected sperm into the uterine cavity of the woman. If the woman's ovaries are in good condition, a second IUI can be performed in the following menstrual cycle, and so on for the next three or four cycles.

What are the advantages of IUI?

  • It is a low-risk, painless, and outpatient procedure.
  • It is recommended when sperm has difficulty reaching the fallopian tubes from the vagina.
  • Anesthesia is not necessary.
  • It can be performed in natural ovulatory cycles. IUI is more effective when ovulation is stimulated. The ideal time for depositing sperm in the uterine cavity is determined through ultrasounds.
  • It can be performed with sperm from a partner or a donor.

Who benefits from IUI?

  • Cases involving cervical or coital factors (abnormalities in the cervix or hostile cervical mucus, difficulties in depositing semen in the vagina during sexual intercourse)
  • Mild male factor infertility
  • Mild endometriosis
  • Ovulatory disorders
  • Unexplained infertility in women under 38 years of age
  • Serodiscordant couples
  • A confirmed anatomical integrity of at least one fallopian tube
  • In heterosexual couples whose semen sample has an acceptable concentration of motile sperm

What tests are necessary?

  • Semen analysis (analysis of the ejaculate or semen)
  • Hysterosalpingography (an X-ray examination to verify the condition and level of permeability of the fallopian tubes and the uterus)
  • Hormonal profile of the woman (clinical analysis and ultrasounds)
  • Serology of both members of the couple: study of infectious diseases (hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, and syphilis, among others).
  • It is a low-risk, painless, and outpatient procedure.
  • It is recommended when sperm has difficulty reaching the fallopian tubes from the vagina.
  • Anesthesia is not necessary.
  • It can be performed in natural ovulatory cycles. IUI is more effective when ovulation is stimulated. The ideal time for depositing sperm in the uterine cavity is determined through ultrasounds.
  • It can be performed with sperm from a partner or a donor.
  • Cases involving cervical or coital factors (abnormalities in the cervix or hostile cervical mucus, difficulties in depositing semen in the vagina during sexual intercourse)
  • Mild male factor infertility
  • Mild endometriosis
  • Ovulatory disorders
  • Unexplained infertility in women under 38 years of age
  • Serodiscordant couples
  • A confirmed anatomical integrity of at least one fallopian tube
  • In heterosexual couples whose semen sample has an acceptable concentration of motile sperm
  • Semen analysis (analysis of the ejaculate or semen)
  • Hysterosalpingography (an X-ray examination to verify the condition and level of permeability of the fallopian tubes and the uterus)
  • Hormonal profile of the woman (clinical analysis and ultrasounds)
  • Serology of both members of the couple: study of infectious diseases (hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, and syphilis, among others).

The step-by-step process of IUI

How is intrauterine insemination (IUI) performed?

IUI involves placing previously evaluated semen inside the uterine cavity of the woman, thereby shortening the distance between the sperm and the egg and facilitating the meeting of both gametes.

The first step is to perform a semen analysis in our laboratory to evaluate the capacitation of the sample and analyze the characteristics of the semen. Once the mobility, size, and density of the sperm are confirmed, the semen is prepared using different techniques, such as swim down or swim up, depending on its characteristics.

Subsequently, gentle stimulation of the ovaries begins. This is necessary to increase the chances of success. This procedure takes 10-12 days during which the growth of follicles is monitored with ultrasounds. When the professionals determine that the number and size are adequate, the discharge is performed. Insemination can take place 34 to 36 hours later.

What is ovarian stimulation?

At the beginning of menstruation, the patient will have to undergo an ultrasound, and the doctor will facilitate the start of ovulation with different medications on a case by case basis. After confirming the expected size and quantity (less than 3 preovulatory follicles), the patient is given an HCG injection to induce oocyte maturation and ovulation. 36 hours after the injection, intrauterine insemination can continue.

Recommendations for the semen sample

In cases where the sample belongs to the partner, it is necessary for the patient to remain sexually abstinent 2 to 5 days prior to providing the sample. Once the sample is obtained, we analyze it in our laboratories using appropriate techniques to eliminate unsuitable sperm and obtain a quality sample for insemination.

On the other hand, a sperm donor must be used in cases where 1) the man has an absence of sperm in his semen or 2) there are genetic hereditary diseases or 3) the woman is not in a relationship with a man.

The day of insemination

Before the surgery begins, the patient should hydrate in order to fill their bladder and make the procedure easier. Insemination involves inserting a soft catheter through the cervix to introduce the sample into the uterus. The process takes about 15 minutes in the consultation room.

The woman should avoid situations that increase body temperature or cause dehydration after the insemination. She should also refrain from consuming alcoholic beverages or non-prescription drugs. She can resume normal work activities without any problems.

At the beginning of menstruation, the patient will have to undergo an ultrasound, and the doctor will facilitate the start of ovulation with different medications on a case by case basis. After confirming the expected size and quantity (less than 3 preovulatory follicles), the patient is given an HCG injection to induce oocyte maturation and ovulation. 36 hours after the injection, intrauterine insemination can continue.

In cases where the sample belongs to the partner, it is necessary for the patient to remain sexually abstinent 2 to 5 days prior to providing the sample. Once the sample is obtained, we analyze it in our laboratories using appropriate techniques to eliminate unsuitable sperm and obtain a quality sample for insemination.

On the other hand, a sperm donor must be used in cases where 1) the man has an absence of sperm in his semen or 2) there are genetic hereditary diseases or 3) the woman is not in a relationship with a man.

Before the surgery begins, the patient should hydrate in order to fill their bladder and make the procedure easier. Insemination involves inserting a soft catheter through the cervix to introduce the sample into the uterus. The process takes about 15 minutes in the consultation room.

When is it preferable to opt for a high complexity treatment?

  • When the woman is over 38 years of age and has both fallopian tubes blocked.
  • When the SWIM UP technique is performed to obtain the best quality sperm from semen and less than 3 million sperm are observed in the sample.
  • In cases where intrauterine insemination has been attempted three times without success.

Frequently Asked Questions

Assisted reproductive treatments are divided into high and low complexity treatments. Intrauterine Insemination is a low complexity treatment where fertilization occurs inside the woman’s uterus, while IVF is a high complexity treatment in which fertilization occurs in the laboratory.

The treatment options will be the same, except that a sperm bank must be used. For more information, you can visit “I want to be a mother.”

After Intrauterine Insemination, the woman can resume her normal life without any problems. It is important to avoid situations that may increase body temperature or cause dehydration. It is also recommended not to consume alcoholic beverages or medications without a doctor’s prescription.

In terms of medical follow-up, check-ups are carried out to verify if pregnancy has occurred after the assisted reproduction treatment.

After Intrauterine Insemination, it is possible, generally, to have sexual intercourse. There is no strict rule prohibiting sexual intercourse after the procedure. However, it is important to remember that each case is unique and may vary depending on individual circumstances and the recommendations of the physician or fertility specialist.

Some physicians may suggest abstaining from intercourse for a short period of time after Intrauterine Insemination, primarily to ensure that the woman is comfortable and to avoid any possible discomfort. However, having sexual intercourse should not affect the outcome of the Intrauterine Insemination.

Intrauterine Insemination during the menstrual cycle without ovarian stimulation, also known as natural cycle insemination, may be an option for women with regular menstrual cycles and for those who cannot or prefer not to use fertility drugs. It may also be appropriate when infertility is primarily due to male or cervical factors.

However, the success rate may be lower compared to Intrauterine Insemination with ovarian stimulation. As always, it is essential that each patient speak with their physician or fertility specialist for personalized advice specific to their situation.

Intrauterine Insemination is indicated for women under 38 years of age, although it is necessary that our medical team performs a comprehensive evaluation of each case to indicate the appropriate treatment.

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