IUI stands for intrauterine insemination. During this procedure the male partner's semen sample is processed and placed directly inside the female partner’s uterus. It is a technique to overcome a variety of mild fertility problems that mostly occur in men.
IUI is also carried out using donor sperm, which is called donor insemination. Donor inseminations become necessary when the male partner does not produce the minimal amounts of sperm for semen extraction procedures. Male infertility indications for IUI are:
- Low sperm count
- Low sperm motility
- Cervical factor infertility
- Sexual dysfunction
IUI is also carried out using donor sperm, which is called donor insemination. Donor inseminations become necessary when the male partner does not produce the minimal amounts of sperm for semen extraction procedures.
How does IUI work?
IUI is usually combined with ovulation induction, a process in which a woman's ovaries are mildly stimulated. Mild ovarian stimulation encourages ovaries to produce more than one mature egg. Having more than one mature egg means that the sperm have a better chance of fertilizing an egg. Ovulation induction with IUI, however, also creates a risk for multiple births.
What are the risks of IUI?
The main risk for IUI is the risk of multiple gestations, especially of high-order multiples (triplets or more). This is an inherent risk that is extremely difficult to avoid. Physicians try to strike the right balance between good pregnancy chance and a low risk for multiple gestations, but even in best of hands, high-order multiples may just happen.
Fertility practice has come to try to avoid multiple births, especially high-order multiples, because they carry elevated risks, especially of premature delivery. Our goal is not only to achieve pregnancy but to achieve responsible pregnancy with little or no risk to mother and newborns.