Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
If you are experiencing difficulties getting pregnant, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) may be on your fertility treatment radar. Once known as artificial insemination, it is less invasive and less expensive than In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
The process involves depositing sperm directly into the woman’s uterus using medical assistance — known as Artificial Reproductive Technology (ART). The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and improve the chances of fertilization, and subsequently, conception. It may be used as fertility treatment for the following conditions:
If you have unexplained infertility
If you are using donor sperm to conceive
If you have had previous surgery on the cervix which makes it difficult for the sperm to reach the uterus and fallopian tubes (ie., a trachelectomy or cone biopsy).
If you have scar tissue on your cervix which may reduce the sperm's ability to reach the uterus and fallopian tubes
If you have a cervical condition that can affect conception, including cervical mucus problems
If your partner has ejaculation dysfunction, a low sperm count, poor motility (movement) or poor morphology (shape).
Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find the answers to the most commonly asked questions about Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).
Does Intrauterine insemination (IUI) hurt?
- Most women experience little to no pain during IUI.
Are there side effects with IUI treatment?
A small percentage of women may experience mild cramping. Severe side effects like infections, which can occur with any medical procedure, are very rare.
Any side effects are often attributed to the fertility drugs taken during the IUI cycle, not the procedure. These are temporary and may include bloating, mood swings, nausea, pelvic discomfort, headaches and others. They are usually mild and disappear when the medication is stopped. Your naturopathic doctor at Conceive Health can also work with you to minimize side effects and reduce potential complications.
What is the success rate of IUI?
- The success rate for IUI treatment on the first attempt depends on multiple factors, including: age, cause of infertility, whether fertility drugs were used and other reasons. On average, a woman under 35 will have a 10 to 20 percent chance of pregnancy with each IUI, while someone over 40 will have a two to five percent chance. At Conceive Health, we incorporate specific preconception care protocols into your treatment plan to improve your chances of achieving your dream of having a child.
What vitamins are good for IUI treatment?
Your Conceive Health naturopath will work with you to help you prepare for IUI and ensure you are taking supportive nutrients. Typically, your preconception program will continue throughout your IUI cycle until you are pregnant. We may add in particular vitamins, minerals or herbs, depending on your response to medications and cycle monitoring results. Note that this is case-specific.
What should I be eating to prepare for IUI?
- A whole food diet, no processed food. There is evidence that caffeine and alcohol consumption can have an impact on cycle outcome. Hydration is key. Lean protein, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables — all the colours of the rainbow.
When is IUI treatment acupuncture performed?
- Day 3-11: it is performed to regulate FSH levels and boost blood flow to support growing follicles and thicken endometrial lining.
- Day11- 14: it is done pre-ovulation or retrieval to improve blood flow and thicken endometrial lining. day:to decrease stress, improve blood flow and reduce contractility of the uterus.
- 7 days post ovulation /IUI to support implantation rates, and stress support for the 2 week wait.