Is IUI Right For You?

If you and your partner have been yearning for a baby, but not coming close to achieving your goal, you may have considered looking into the procedure known as intrauterine insemination (IUI). It's important to remember that fertility treatments are not just about trying the various procedures and medications and hoping for the best. Rather, each treatment works for specific fertility issues. Let's take a look at some of the fertility issues that may be overcome through IUI:

Healthy Sperm

*Male infertility factors-in the case where there is mild male infertility, or subfertility, IUI may help. A diagnosis of this condition is dependent upon a semen analysis, which is often a first step in assessing a couple's apparent infertility. If there is sub-average sperm concentration, poor sperm movement (motility), or abnormalities of the size and shape of the sperm (morphology), IUI may be just the ticket. The reason IUI can help in such a case is due to the fact that sperm must be washed prior to the procedure which helps to weed out debris and defective cells, leaving a concentrated amount of active, healthy sperm.

Sojourning Sperm

*Hostile cervical mucus-The cervix is located at the bottom of the uterus and is the aperture between the vagina and your uterus. When your partner climaxes into your vagina, sperm must make their way into the cervical opening, on into your uterus, and then into the fallopian tubes in search of an egg to fertilize. The lubrication produced by your cervix at the time you ovulate is of a texture that should aid sperm in their sojourn to the egg. Sometimes, however, a woman's cervical mucus is so thick that it hinders the sperm and keeps it from its ultimate goal. IUI avoids this issue because sperm are injected straight into the uterus. This multiplies the number of sperm that can reach an egg and lead to conception.

Allergic Reaction

*Sperm Allergy-Semen contains proteins that in some women causes inflammation and an allergic reaction in the vagina in response to a partner's ejaculation. The allergic reaction consists of redness, swelling, and a burning sensation in the vagina and wherever else there has been skin contact with semen. Condoms avoid such symptoms, but prevent a couple from conceiving. Since IUI involves the removal of the offending proteins from the semen prior to the procedure, this method is an effective means of achieving conception in women with sperm allergies.

*Unexplained infertility-When all the results are in and the physicians can't find any concrete reasons for infertility, IUI is often the first line of treatment. Doctors may not know exactly why IUI works in such cases, but the success rates are persuasive. Often, IUI is combined with ovulation induction agents.

*Sperm donation- For those couples who choose to use donor sperm, IUI is the method of choice for delivering the sperm where they will do the most good—to your uterus. The sperm is bought from reputable labs and thawed prior to the IUI procedure.