IUI: A first-line infertility treatment
For many couples who have not been able to get pregnant on their own, intrauterine insemination, or IUI, is an affordable first-line treatment that can help. It’s also the procedure of choice for single women and lesbian couples who wish to use donor sperm to have a baby.
Our New York fertility center has had excellent results using IUI to help women and men become moms and dads. IUI is a simple procedure that involves placing the man’s sperm directly into the woman’s uterus at the time of ovulation. From start to finish, the entire process takes place over the course of one menstrual cycle.
- The woman typically prepares for insemination by taking ovulation-stimulating medications.
- Starting around cycle day six, the fertility specialist begins monitoring follicle growth over several days, using ultrasound and measuring hormone levels in the blood.
- Once the egg-containing follicles are mature, the woman takes an injection of hCG to trigger the release (ovulation) of multiple eggs simultaneously.
- On the day of insemination, the man provides a sperm sample to the IVF lab, or donor sperm are thawed.
- The sperm are washed so that only healthy, motile sperm are concentrated in a small amount of fluid.
- The washed sperm sample is placed directly into the uterus through a thin catheter.
- About two weeks after insemination, a pregnancy test is performed.
Are you a candidate for IUI?
IUI is a simple, non-invasive, affordable first-line treatment for many types of infertility. This proven-effective procedure has helped millions of women get pregnant – but it’s not the optimal choice for every individual or couple struggling to conceive.
IUI may be recommended as a front-line treatment option for:
- Couples with unexplained infertility
- Women who have problems with cervical mucus
- Men with mild male factor infertility
- Same-sex couples or single women who wish to use donor sperm to achieve pregnancy
To determine if you might be a candidate for IUI at our New York fertility center, Joel Batzofin, M.D. performs comprehensive fertility testing of both male and female partners before developing a treatment plan.
IUI will not succeed if the cause of infertility is a physical blockage of the fallopian tubes, as the sperm will not be able to reach the eggs. It also may not be the ideal first choice for women with low ovarian reserve, as it may not be possible to produce enough eggs for a successful IUI cycle. In such cases, in vitro fertilization, or IVF with egg retrieval, may be recommended.
It often takes three or more cycles of IUI to achieve pregnancy. At every step, your fertility specialist will discuss your options with you to maximize your chances of having a baby.
Schedule a consultation
If you’re interested in trying IUI, the first step is thorough testing and assessment of both partners’ fertility. Based on the results, Dr. Batzofin will educate you and your partner about your treatment options and chances for success, so that you can make an informed decision about the best approach to build your family.
To find out if IUI might be an effective treatment for you, contact our New York fertility center to schedule a consultation.