Intrauterine insemination is a technique that may be chosen by couples who are trying to conceive a baby but are not successful. The intrauterine insemination is an assisted reproductive treatment that can increase the chances of pregnancy by clinically establishing the most fertile period, and applying the sperm during that exact timeframe. The candidacy for the IUI procedure will be established before applying the treatment.
Candidacy for Intrauterine Insemination
The following is a list of candidacies for intrauterine insemination:
- Couples that cannot conceive due to unknown reasons and have tried for over 12 months to get pregnant
- The male partner has a mental or physical barrier that cannot make the natural insemination possible (i.e. premature ejaculation)
- Infertile male partner (case in which a sperm from donor will be used) or low motile sperm count
- Lesbian couples who wish to start a family and have a baby
The ideal candidate for the intrauterine insemination is a female under the age of 30. However, the IUI technique may also be used in older women, as it may deliver increased chances of pregnancy than natural conception. The woman’s menstrual cycle will be monitored carefully and several tests will be performed. Fertility doctors will recommend the IUI procedure if the cycle produces 2 follicles that have a healthy appearance and are at least 16 mm.
The total motile sperm count (TMSC) of the partner or the donor should also be higher than 5 million per ml of sperm liquid. The male partner will be advised not to ejaculate at least for 48 hours before the actual intrauterine insemination or donating the sperm for IUI, so that the sperm count will be high enough and increase the chances of conception.
However, if the partner’s sperm doesn’t meet this criterion, the couple may have the option of getting the sperm from a donor. The sperm donors are tested prior to the donation procedure and their total motile sperm count should be higher than 5 million per ml, otherwise the donor is not accepted.
The fertility doctor will determine for each couple in part if the IUI technique is an option and if the woman is a good candidate.
Non Viable Candidates for Intrauterine Insemination
Candidates that may not benefit from IUI are women that have a reproductive tract defect or are diagnosed as infertile. However, there are alternative treatment options for couples facing these types of problems and the fertility doctor will discuss and explain each option in part.
The fertility doctor will perform a few tests to determine if the patient can get the intrauterine insemination and to find the possible reasons the couple fails to conceive.
Couples that are trying to conceive should see a fertility doctor for tests if they fail to conceive a baby in 12 months if the woman is under the age of 30, or after 6 months if the woman is over 30.