What is IUI?
Artificial insemination or intrauterine insemination (IUI) involves inserting the male partner’s (or donor’s) prepared semen through the neck of the womb (cervix) and into the uterus, close to the time of ovulation. It is a simpler, less invasive form of fertility treatment.
The IUI process
IUI treatment can be performed in a couple of different ways.
- Natural cycle: This option does not involve any medication and works with the woman’s natural menstrual cycle.
- Artificial hormone stimulation (or ovulation induction): This option involves the use of medication to stimulate the ovaries and cause or regulate ovulation with either Letrozole or FSH (follicle stimulating hormones) injections.
The semen sample is analysed and washed to concentrate the motile sperm. The final prepared sample is used for insemination where it is gently inserted into the uterine cavity using a speculum and a small catheter.
An IUI procedure is performed by a nurse and is usually not painful, although sometimes you might feel mild cramping and/or discomfort. You should be able to return to work straight away.
Who is IUI suitable for?
If you or your partner has been diagnosed with unexplained infertility, hostile cervical mucus, minor sperm abnormalities or other male disorders, IUI is sometimes a successful option.
It can also be used when semen has been frozen due to a husband's absence or before chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
It is more beneficial in women who are not of an advanced maternal age.
Insemination with donor sperm
Artificial insemination is also used when couples need to use a sperm donor. Donor sperm may be recommended when the male partner has problems with sperm quality or production, including when the sperm is of very poor quality, or if there is a high risk of passing on a genetic disease.
How much does artificial insemination cost?
An artificial insemination / intrauterine insemination cycle is eligible for a Medicare rebate and the estimated out of pocket cost is $1,831.
To find out if IUI is suitable for you please book an appointment with a fertility specialist on 1800 111 483. Appointments are available in the next couple of weeks and will cost approximately $150 for a couple after the Medicare rebate.