When is IntraUterine Insemination a Good Option?

For couples and individuals in Beachwood, Ohio and other parts of the country who are experiencing infertility, intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a very common procedure that's helped many reach their goals. Also known as artificial insemination, this procedure involves the injection of a sperm sample into the uterus so the sperm may fertilize the egg in the fallopian tube and the resulting embryo may implant in the uterine lining. This procedure is often performed before assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) because of its relative simplicity and lower cost.

The sperm sample is washed before it is injected to the uterus, which means dead sperm or unhealthy sperm and debris is removed, leaving only healthy sperm in the sample. The sample is injected the day after an egg is released by placing a syringe on the end of a catheter that is inserted into the vagina following the insertion of a speculum. The process takes about 20 minutes in a doctor's office, and the woman will lie on the exam table with her legs in stirrups throughout the procedure. Afterwards, the woman will continue to lie down for a short period before she is allowed to leave the office and resume other activities. 

Candidates for the procedure include couples for whom mild male factor infertility is a concern. This includes those with low sperm count, weak sperm motility, or abnormalities in shape and size. Women with cervical factor infertility that may prevent sperm from traveling through an abnormally thick cervical mucus are often candidates for the procedure, too. Women with an allergy to semen may be considered candidates as well because the proteins are often removed from the sperm before it inserted to prevent allergic reactions. Women who are using donor sperm and couples with unexplained causes of infertility may be candidates as well.

IUI costs about $300 to $800 per session and there is about a 10% to 20% chance of success with each session for women under 35 years old. Women who are older than 35 may have a lower chance of success. This is vastly lower in price than the $12,000 price tag of many IVF procedures, although IVF has about a 40% to 50% chance of success. Many opt for a few sessions of IUI before giving IVF a try. Couples should speak with a Beachwood fertility specialist to determine an appropriate treatment plan.

Learn more about intrauterine insemination in Beachwood, Ohio.

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