Artificial Insemination or intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm directly into a woman’s uterus to consummate fertilisation.
The aim is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes, giving the sperm an advantage, in order to increase the chances of fertilisation. It still requires a sperm to reach and fertilise the egg on its own, however.
This procedure is less invasive, and less expensive than in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Fertility Specialists would analyse a partner’s sperm, wash it and select the best to be concentrated and then injected into the uterus.
This is done by means of a small syringe connected to a thin plastic catheter.
This option is primarily for couples where the man’s sperm is struggling to naturally fertilise his partner’s egg, or where the sperm has difficulty passing through the cervix.
A pregnancy test can be done five days after the next period is due. Following each treatment cycle, the response to the treatment is reviewed and adjusted, if necessary, for the next cycle. If a pregnancy has not been achieved after four to six cycles, an alternative fertility treatment may be required. The most common next step is IVF.
Please note: IUI procedures also don’t allow for regulation of the number of eggs ovulated, so there is a higher risk of multiple births.
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