IUI - Intrauterine Insemination
Artificial Insemination and IUI
Artificial insemination (AI) has been practiced to conceive pregnancies since the early 1900s (albeit in animals). We humans started using the concept in the 1940s when human artificial insemination with the male partner's sperm began being used to address infertility. Now, here we are more than 70 years later and artificial insemination has developed into an effective way for couples dealing with both male infertility and female fertility issues to conceive a pregnancy.
IUI, or intrauterine insemination is a type of AI whereby sperm is deposited directly into a woman's uterus. In order to understand the process properly, check out our article entitled Explaining IUI where you'll receive general knowledge and an overview of the process.
In order to get the best results, it is important to be properly prepared for IUI. Read Preparing for IUI to find out what you can do to be ready for the procedure and how you can optimize the process.
While most couples would prefer to use the male partner's sperm, sometimes there are sperm factors that make it impossible. In these cases there are options. Read about the whys and wherefores of using a donor in our article entitled, Why Use a Donor? You may wish to use a known donor, as sometimes happens in families where infertility has robbed a close sibling of the opportunity to have a baby. Therapeutic donor insemination, or using donor sperm from an anonymous donor, has enabled many couples to realize their dream of having a baby when the male partner is infertile. All sperm donors go through rigorous screening and the donor sperm is tested, retested, and frozen to ensure only healthy, strong sperm are used.
Part of the preparation for IUI includes sperm washing, a process that separates the sperm from the seminal fluid. The entire process is well explained in this section. Sperm washing has also become an important therapy for HIV infected couples who want to have children. With the advances in treatments, people who are HIV positive or are HIV/AIDS positive can live near-normal lives with a near-normal lifespan. This factor gives them the hope of having a family. In our article about sperm washing and HIV you will learn how sperm washing has benefitted couples who are serodiscordant (one member of the couple is HIV positive and the other is HIV negative).
Along with IUI, we address some other types of insemination processes. Learn about Intratubal insemination (ITI), Intravaginal insemination (IVI) and Intracervical insemination (ICI) by checking out the articles by those titles. Each is a form of artificial insemination, only placing the sperm in places other than the uterus. All of these methods are effective and used for specific fertility issues. Find out which methods are used for which specific fertility challenges in the articles.
In this section we do our best to keep you up-to-date on the latest technologies so you are always well informed. One new technology that has arrived on the scene is from Israel. It is now available in Europe and has been approved by the FDA for the US. This method treats the release of sperm in a more normal fashion so the chances of conception may be enhanced. Read about the new IUI method here.
Sometimes a woman is unable to carry a pregnancy. There may be uterine issues, serious health issues or she may have been born without a uterus. In cases like this, it is not uncommon for a couple to seek out someone to bear their baby for them. Choosing a surrogate is a very exacting thing, one that requires time and due diligence on the part of the searching couple. Find out what to look for in the article about choosing a surrogate.
IUI Risks and FAQs
As with any type of procedure, there are IUI risks. It is important for you to know and understand the risks and possible IUI problems you may be faced with before you embark on the journey. We've covered a lot of them in our articles in this section, however, if you still have questions, drop into the IUI FAQs page to see if you can find the answers there.