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Roughly 6.7 million women of the reproductive age – 35 or younger – have reported infertility issues in the United States. These problems can stem from a variety of factors with her reproductive system, such as a sexually transmitted disease (STD) infection such as Chlamydia or gonorrhea, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis diagnosis, damaged fallopian tubes, or any abdominal infection such as appendicitis. Men can also contribute to a couple’s fertility issues, especially if he has a low sperm count.
Some causes of infertility are clearly harder to fix than others, requiring a full-on assisted reproductive technology procedure in order to increase the chance of a woman becoming pregnant – but for a woman whose infertility issues aren’t too extreme, she can easily turn to a much simpler method of intrauterine insemination (IUI) for help.
Reasons To Consider IUI
Once a woman has undergone her fertility evaluation, the doctor is able to rule out certain causes of her infertility, and specific treatments that can be used to treat it. Typically, IUI is an option worth considering if a woman cannot conceive due to preventative cervical issues, such as thick cervical mucus that blocks the sperm from traveling to the uterus, an excess of cervical scar tissue from a past surgeries such as those needed for abnormal PAP smears, her partner’s low sperm count, or her partner’s decreased sperm mobility.
The IUI Procedure
During IUI, a man’s semen sample is injected into the uterus using a catheter – a process that takes just minutes. If a woman is undergoing the procedure because of her own infertility, such as a cervical blockage, then her partner’s sperm will be used. However, if a man’s infertility issues are the reason the couple cannot conceive (if his sperm count is low or has decreased mobility), then an outside donor’s sperm may be used.
The semen is washed to concentrate the sperm before it is used. Before the procedure even begins, it is crucial that a woman is undergoing ovulation. IUI increases the amount of sperm that actually reaches the fallopian tubes, bypassing the cervix and vagina to get directly to the uterus. More importantly, it increases the chance for fertilization to occur.
Overwhelming Pros Of IUI
If a woman is told by her doctor that IUI is a route worth taking – and she has spent some time clearly considering this option – then it’s important that she is aware of all the positive characteristics of the procedure:
- It’s extremely simple. The procedure is performed in-office and takes only a few minutes.
- It’s painless. Because the semen sample is washed, the seminal fluid becomes removed – which would have otherwise caused cramping.
- The cost is lower than other assisted reproductive procedures.
- It is less invasive than other assisted reproductive procedures.
- There is a minimal risk of bleeding and infection.
The success rate of IUI can be increased with the amount of times the IUI procedure is performed. If a woman undergoes IUI each month, then her success rate per cycle may reach as high as 20 percent. Other factors, such as her age and whether or not fertility drugs are used in addition to the procedure can increase the likeliness of her becoming pregnant.
At the end of the day, infertility is an issue that can potentially be resolved – and has been resolved – through procedures like IUI. If a woman has done her research, weighed her options and believes IUI is the right method for her – or if she likes the idea of IUI but wants to know more about it as well as a fertility evaluation or other treatment options– she can find out more about the procedure at the Reproductive Specialists of New York. With a staff of physicians certified in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, as well as Obstetrics and Gynecology, she can benefit from IUI, or another type of treatments offered, under our care.
Request an appointment at one of our locations today to help your journey to becoming a parent.