Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is one of the basic artificial fertilisation methods. This is the first-choice treatment for couples who have not managed to achieve pregnancy even after one year of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.This mainly concerns those couples, the cause of whose failure is the poor quality of the partner’s sperm or irregular ovulation of the woman.
This programme is also suitable for female patients with an immunological factor of infertility.
Principle of and Basic Information about the IUI Treatment Method
This method is based on facilitating the way of the sperm to the egg. The sperm avoids the adverse effects of the vagina and uterine suppository environment, and the time required for getting to the egg is shortened.
When processing the partner's or a donor's sperm in an andrology laboratory, a sample with the highest quantity of quality sperm is obtained. An adequate dose of the sperm is then applied with the use of a long thin catheter (with a diameter of 1.8 mm) directly into the woman’s uterus.
A Spermiogram (SPG) evaluation of all sperm samples is performed before IUI. Freshly sampled partner sperm is mostly used, but frozen sperm or donor sperm can also be used. Hormonal stimulation of the female partner is done concurrently. The purpose of the stimulation before IUI is to mature 1 to 2 follicles. Stimulation increases the chance of achieving pregnancy. The procedure is similar to a conventional gynaecological examination. It is absolutely painless (it does not require local anaesthesia either) and fast.
Success of the Method
In the first cycle of the treatment by IUI method, 5 to 15 % of women achieve pregnancy. Success depends on the woman’s age, decreasing with increasing age. It is almost never performed after the age of 40.
If pregnancy is not achieved after three IUI cycles, the physician may recommend a more efficient method - In Vitro fertilisation (IVF).
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MUDr. Michael Kozumplík