Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) in Los Angeles
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a minimally invasive procedure used to increase the odds of conception. When combined with monitored ovulation, this non-surgical procedure increases the chances of pregnancy by 300 percent compared to regular intercourse.
IUI can be used to treat a variety of infertility issues, including low sperm count. It works by washing and concentrating a sperm sample and inserting it into the uterine cavity at the optimal time to promote conception.
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What Are the Benefits of IUI?
Washing the provided sperm sample in an electrolyzed solution removes certain chemicals and the risks they carry. This includes prostaglandins, which are lipids that control inflammation, blood flow, and blood clots. These chemical compounds are removed before insemination because they can trigger uterine contractions that can make fertilization and embryonic implantation more difficult. Sperm washing also reduces the risk of certain infections and viruses being transmitted from the father to the mother and baby.
One of the most common types of infertility among men is low sperm count. This occurs when there are fewer than average numbers of sperm per unit of semen. An IUI procedure concentrates washed sperm into a dense solution, artificially reversing the effects of a low sperm count. The risk of unwanted uterine contractions can be reduced by using a washed and concentrated sperm sample. This concentration also reduces the volume of the sample so that insemination is painless.
Increases Conception Odds
An IUI treatment can dramatically increase the odds of conception for people with a known or unknown cause of infertility. This technique can be combined with monitored ovulation to triple the odds of conception among most couples. By inserting washed, concentrated sperm directly into the uterine cavity, there is a higher chance of successful fertilization.
What Is the IUI Process?
Washing the Semen Sample
The intrauterine insemination process begins with a sperm sample. The sample is bathed in an electrolyzed solution to separate the sperm from the semen’s other components. The most active sperm are concentrated into a new solution.
Ovulation Prediction or Administration of Medications
Some IUI procedures are done without medication. If that is the case, an ovulation predictor kit will be used to determine when the ideal time for insemination will be.
For patients who choose to use medications to assist their IUI procedure, both oral and injectable options are available. With medical assistance, a series of ultrasounds are used to track the egg’s growth, and then a hormone injection is used to trigger the release of the egg at the ideal time. This technique increases the odds of a successful conception.
The insemination process itself involves the insertion of the concentrated sperm sample into an area just shy of the uterus, where it should immediately interact with an egg. If a sperm and egg unite (fertilization) and implantation occurs, pregnancy will be achieved.
Frequently Asked Questions
How successful is IUI?
The success rate for IUI can vary depending on the age and overall health of the prospective parents as well as the reason for infertility. The use of fertility drugs can also impact the success rate. IUI procedures do not always work the first time, but with each try, the odds of conception rise. For this reason, Dr. Saadat usually recommends a few attempts if the first procedure fails to achieve pregnancy.
Do I need to know the cause of my infertility before undergoing IUI?
No. One of the significant advantages of IUI is that it can be performed without knowing the specific cause of infertility. There are some cases where IUI will still be ineffective, but for many patients, IUI is an effective means of artificial insemination.
What if intrauterine insemination does not work for me?
The good news is that there are other options available if IUI procedures fail to achieve pregnancy. The most common next step is an in vitro fertilization treatment, which creates an embryo in a controlled environment to help patients become pregnant. You may also want comprehensive infertility testing performed to determine the exact nature of your infertility issues.
Can IUI be combined with other options to increase the chance of conception?