IUI treatments

With IUI treatment, fertilisation takes place within the patients' body rather than in the laboratory

Are you considering IUI? We have over 25 years experience of providing the treatment, and will tell you everything you need to know before you start.

What is IUI Treatment?

IUI treatment is a form of fertility treatment that helps a higher number of better quality sperm reach the womb, increasing the chances of fertilisation. Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) simply means putting prepared sperm into the uterus. You might have heard it called artificial insemination.

When might you be offered IUI treatments?

IUI is recommended for people who’ve been unable to conceive a child through natural methods. The most common reasons for this are low sperm count or poor sperm mobility. If you’re a couple younger than 35, you might consider IUI after trying unsuccessfully to conceive for one year. If you’re older than 35, you might be a candidate if you’ve been trying to conceive for six months.

Before undertaking IUI, you and your partner will be assessed to discover the main reason behind your difficulty conceiving. This will help you decide whether IUI is right for you.

A woman will need open and healthy fallopian tubes to be considered for IUI.

IUI will not be offered if you have unexplained fertility, poor quality sperm of mild endometriosis, as research suggests it’s unlikely to increase your chances of pregnancy.

New patient enquiries:
0800 5642270

What does the IUI treatment process look like?

IUI is a process that puts healthy sperm directly into the uterus. To do this, a vial containing a sperm sample is attached to a catheter. This is inserted through the vagina and the cervical opening, finishing in the uterus. Sperm is then pushed through the tube and into the uterus.

The procedure only takes a few minutes to complete, and is almost always completely painless. Some mild discomfort may occur, and you may experience mild cramps, but both feelings should disappear once the process is over.
We time IUI treatment to coincide with ovulation, using blood or urine tests and ultrasound to carefully monitor the ovulation cycle. If needed, we might also trigger ovulation with medication and then time the procedure to take place 36 hours later.

IUI considerations

Before undertaking IUI, it’s worth remembering that - as with any fertility treatment - there is no guarantee of success. IUI success rates are around 13%, and you may require multiple cycles in order to conceive.

We have over 25 years of IUI expertise, and one of our fertility specialists would be happy to talk you through the process and any risks associated with it.

 

Risks associated with IUI

While the risks of IUI are incredibly low, there is still a chance of the following:

  • Infection following the procedure.
  • Spotting. Inserting the catheter can cause a small amount of vaginal bleeding, but this rarely has an impact on the chances of pregnancy.
  • Multiple pregnancy, when performed with ovulation-inducing medication.

 

Benefits associated with IUI

  • IUI is a good option for single women and same sex couples who don’t have fertility issues but who need donor sperm.
  • IUI is the lowest cost form of assisted reproduction treatment.
  • There is no egg collection involved in IUI meaning that there is no invasive procedure and sedation is not required.
  • Incredibly safe, with very low risks involved.
  • Mostly painless procedure.

 

Success with IUI

Whilst IUI is a less invasive and less expensive option than IVF, pregnancy rates from IUI are lower than IVF. Reasons include the fact that there is no monitoring of embryo development or selection of the most viable embryo as we can do with IVF.

The success of IUI depends on many factors, including:

  • The reason IUI is being performed. If IUI is being used to help lesbian couples or single women using donor sperm there isn't necessarily a fertility issue preventing them from becoming pregnant.
  • The woman's age.
  • The man's sperm count and quality of sperm.
  • Whether it is carried out in a drug stimulated or natural (drug free) cycle.

IUI vs IVF - Considerations and comparisons

Many people seeking fertility treatment may wonder, what’s the difference between IUI and IVF ? In IUI, sperm are inserted into the uterus to fertilise an egg, whereas IVF involves collecting eggs and fertilising them in a lab, before transferring a cultured embryo back into the uterus. Patients choosing between IUI and IVF fertility treatments should consider:

  • IUI is less invasive and less expensive.
  • Patients generally start with IUI if they are using donor sperm.
  • IVF has a higher success rate per cycle.
  • IUI treatments generally involve multiple cycles.
  • Pregnancy rates from IUI are lower than IVF as there is no monitoring of embryo development or selection of the most viable embryo as with IVF.

IUI costs

IUI costs can range between £700 and £1,600 for each IUI cycle.

On average the cost of IUI with a partner sperm at CARE Fertility costs £980. The cost of IUI with donor sperm costs from £1965 - £2095 when using CARE's sperm bank, or if using imported donor sperm between £1185 - £1560.

For more information on the cost of IUI, check your local clinic's fee schedule or call our new patient enquiry team on 0800 564 2270.

If you’re interested in IUI with CARE, speak to your local clinic or book a consultation.