IUI Treatment – Success Rate and Risks
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) – which is also known as Artificial Insemination (AI) – is a procedure that places sperm directly into the uterus. As it is a relatively low-tech solution to a range of infertility problems, it is often among the first treatments to assist those who are experiencing challenges in becoming pregnant.
What Is The Success Rate Of IUI Treatment?
Only a small amount of sperm makes it to the woman’s uterus and into the fallopian tubes where fertilisation takes place during normal intercourse.
The IUI procedure inserts large amounts of the best performing sperm directly into a woman’s uterus, significantly increasing the chance of fertilisation.
Success rates using the IUI technique vary. Some patient groups – for example, lesbian and single women – can do very well. In general, a healthy woman under the age of 35 can expect a pregnancy rate of between 9% and 15% per cycle – however, this depends on the woman’s age and egg quality and whether her tubes are healthy, as well as on whether the male partner’s sperm count is within normal limits.
It is common for a woman to undertake multiple inseminations.
Fertility specialists might try three cycles of IUI, and if these are not successful, recommend more advanced methods such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF). You can read more about what IVF treatment entails here…
What Conditions Do IUI Treat Successfully?
IUI is mainly used when timed intercourse or hormonal medications have not worked, or if there are mild problems with the sperm such as a mild sperm abnormality, anti-sperm antibodies or poor motility (the ability of the sperm to move).
It is also used in conjunction with donor sperm as the most commonly used fertility treatment by female same sex couples or by women who don’t have a partner.
However, it is not a suitable treatment for women with severely damaged or blocked fallopian tubes – the treatment options for this are discussed here…
In addition, IUI can be used to overcome infertility due to the following conditions:
* physical problems with sexual intercourse – vaginismus may prevent some women from having frequent intercourse;
* ovulation problems, including irregular or absent ovulation often caused by a deficiency in one of the controlling hormones;
* mucos hostility, which may arise as a result of a vaginal infection or the presence of antisperm antibodies in the mucus;
* mild endometriosis, which occurs when the tissue that normally lines the inside of a woman’s uterus grows in other places where it doesn’t belong, such as on the ovaries or fallopian tubes;
* low sperm count – even if the sperm count is low, it can still be used due to the treatment received in the laboratory;
* ejaculation problems due to impotence or paraplegia;
* retrograde ejaculation which occurs when the semen goes backwards into the bladder instead of coming out of the penis.
What Does IUI Treatment Entail?
During IUI treatment, a thin flexible plastic tube is passed through the cervix through which warned and washed sperm are introduced directly into the woman’s uterus. To provide the very best chance of conception, the IUI treatment is provided around the time of ovulation. At Medfem Fertility Clinic’s purpose-designed medical facilities, this is performed in two ways, depending on your specific requirements: in a natural cycle without fertility drugs or in a stimulated cycle with fertility drugs.
IUI can be performed with sperm from a male partner or from a sperm donor. Medfem Fertility Clinic has a large donor insemination program. We have treated single women and lesbian couples for many years, and offer advice in a relaxed, friendly and informal surrounding. Sperm donors are screened for sexually transmittable agents (including HIV) and genetically inherited diseases.
The procedure is usually painless and requires only a few minutes. A few women will experience temporary menstrual-like cramping. All normal activities can be resumed after the procedure.
Are There Risks to IUI Treatment?
IUI – and more specifically the medications that may be required – involve very limited risks. One is the risk of multiple pregnancies, which some couples may consider a double blessing instead of a risk, and another is Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS).
The risk of multiple pregnancies is increased when taking fertility medications, as these can cause more than one follicle to develop. For this reason, our fertility specialists at Medfem Fertility Clinic will closely monitor you while you are taking these medications. Prior to the procedure, your fertility specialist will use ultrasound to check how many follicles are maturing. If there are more than three maturing follicles, the IUI treatment may be cancelled for the treatment cycle.
While having twins may seem like a blessing for those having trouble conceiving, there are complications, for example, miscarriage and low birth weight are much more common in twins than in single pregnancies.
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is rare, but it is a potentially life-threatening medical condition. It may occur when your ovaries have been overly stimulated by fertility medications. The ovaries may increase in size and produce large amounts of fluid, causing pain and bloating in your abdomen. If severe, it can cause problems with breathing or urinating. At Medfem Fertility Clinic, our fertility specialists will closely monitor you while you are taking fertility medication to ensure your ovaries are not overstimulated.
What Does IUI Treatment Cost?
Below are some estimated costs for the common procedures involved in IUI treatment.
* Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) – Sperm from male partner: R7,570.00
* Sperm Wash: R1,683.00
* IUI with Sperm from Donor: R13,921.00
(Prices valid until December 2019)
It is important, however, to understand that IUI treatment and its costs are part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Furthermore, the cost will vary from couple to couple based on numerous variables, such as whether fertility medications or donor sperm are required. In addition, more than one treatment cycle may be required.
Read more about the cost of IUI treatment here… [The Cost of IUI in South Africa]
IUI Treatment Clinics
When deciding at which fertility clinic you will receive IUI treatment, it is crucial to make the right choice. Facing fertility issues can be a tough challenge on your journey to parenthood, not just medically, but also emotionally and financially.
For this reason, it is important to choose the right fertility team with the advanced equipment, experience and technology, as well as a leading success rate, to help you achieve the pregnancy you dream of.
Read more about the right clinic for IUI treatment here… [IUI Clinics in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa]
The First Step
Starting IUI treatment can be a very exciting time, taking you another step closer to pregnancy and the family you want to have.
The first step to receiving IUI treatment is as simple as contacting us. To book your initial consultation, click here or contact us telephonically on +27 (11) 463 2244.
We look forward to meeting you!
At the first consultation, you will meet one of our fertility specialists to discuss your medical history, conduct a comprehensive infertility work up, explore the options, and start to plan your journey to parenthood.