Unexplained infertility is a frustrating and emotionally painful diagnosis for anyone eager to start or grow a family. Fortunately, some fertility treatments can address a wide variety of reproductive obstacles. For potential parents with unexplained infertility, one of those treatments might be intrauterine insemination (IUI). This option has an excellent track record of success even when the precise cause of infertility hasn’t been identified.
IUI is a procedure involving the introduction of sperm, provided by a donor or the potential parent, to a mature egg (the treatment is also commonly known as artificial insemination). This option is among the least invasive and most affordable fertility treatments.
The sperm used in IUI must first undergo a process commonly called “sperm washing.” This is where the semen sample has the elements that could potentially inhibit fertilization removed using a density gradient centrifugation process. The process extracts the unhealthy, low-motility sperm and leaves a high concentration of healthy sperm. This increases the chance of pregnancy for several reasons:
- The active, healthy sperm are more likely to reach the mature egg and initiate fertilization.
- The semen is removed, along with materials that might hinder fertilization in some women with unexplained infertility.
- The sperm is inserted directly into the uterine cavity near the fallopian opening so that the sperm can access the egg easily.
The treatment cycle might also involve ovulation induction using prescribed medications, typically Clomid. This increases the number of mature eggs produced during ovulation. While the process further improves the chances of achieving pregnancy, it also raises multiple pregnancies.
When is IUI Used?
IUI is an effective treatment for unexplained infertility, but it has also helped promote successful pregnancies for potential parents experiencing a variety of fertility challenges, including:
- Low sperm count
- Hostile cervical environment
- Ovulation-related fertility challenges
- Human seminal plasma hypersensitivity (HSP)
IUI is also used for same-sex couples and single potential parents who require donor sperm.
What are the Benefits of IUI?
IUI is one of the simpler and more affordable fertility treatments available. It is a minimally invasive procedure that most patients find comfortable and non-stressful. IUI is frequently among the first recommended treatments for patients experiencing unexplained infertility.
Is IUI Right for Me?
If your fertility issues are related to low sperm count, suboptimal ovulation, or other challenges that can be overcome by the direct introduction of sperm to a mature egg, IUI might be an effective option. However, your doctor must conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the best treatment plan for your particular circumstances.
At PRC, we are proud to help patients overcome their fertility issues and achieve healthy pregnancies. If you think IUI could help you welcome a beautiful baby into your family, please contact the PRC team for a consultation today.
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