What is Intrauterine Insemination?

Infertility may affect individuals and couples around the country including in Austin, Texas and other parts of the state. Also known as artificial insemination, intrauterine insemination involves the injection of sperm that are specially prepared (washed) into the uterus. This is done the day after the ovaries release an egg so that the sperm may swim into the fallopian tubes where the egg may be fertilized. Women may be encouraged to take fertility medication throughout this process to stimulate ovulation, while other times the woman's cycle will be monitored to determine when the procedure should be performed.

Many couples or individuals may be considered candidates for this procedure including those for whom male factor infertility is an issue. This includes those with low concentrations of sperm, weak motility or other abnormalities in terms of the shape or size of the sperm. Those with severe male factor infertility may be encouraged to seek other forms of treatment, however. Also, those with cervical factor infertility in which the cervical mucus that is produced around ovulation is too thick, prohibiting sperm from traveling to the fallopian tubes. The procedure helps to bypass the cervix so the sperm is placed directly into the uterus.

Intrauterine insemination may also be used when infertility cannot be explained. When the cause is unknown, this procedure may be the first recommended by the Austin infertility specialist. What's more, this procedure may be used in cases in which donor sperm are used. There are also rare cases in which women may be allergic to certain proteins in semen. In these cases, when semen is ejaculated into the vagina, it may cause redness, swelling or burning; some may even experience hives or difficulty breathing as a result of the reaction.

Women whose fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged may not be considered candidates for treatment. Before the procedure, patients should thoroughly discuss their treatment options with a specialist and explore all of their options. Individuals interested in treatment should also consult regarding the risks of intrauterine insemination. Risks may include infection from the procedure, minor cramping following treatment, side effects resulting from the use of fertility medications, as well as multiple pregnancies. Patients should thoroughly discuss all possible risks and complications.

The cost of treatment varies, but many insurance plans will cover the cost of treatment. A cycle may cost about $300 to $800, but this varies. This is much less than in vitro fertilization (IVF) and many choose to give intrauterine insemination a try before turning to IVF. The success rate of this procedure may be around 10% per attempt for women who are under the age of 35. Those over 35 may have a lower chance of success. When fertility mediations are used, the success rate increases for many.

Learn more about intrauterine insemination in Austin, Texas.

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