Ovulation Induction and IUI – Intra Uterine Insemination
If you are having problems with ovulation or irregular cycles, and if entirely natural methods seem inappropriate or have been tried properly without success, we may suggest an ovulation stimulation or boosting drug as a next step.
This is only appropriate if your partner has good quality sperm and your falopian tubes are clear
You can usually take ovulation stimulation drugs for up to six cycles, during which time we would usually provide you with some fertility awareness coaching (in order to make sure you have optimally timed sex – you might be surprised at how many couples do not) and also monitor you closely to check that the drug is having the desired effect. This would involve having a number of scans and a blood test for progesterone to confirm that ovulation is occurring.
Most women will ovulate with the use of these drugs and many will conceive. However, there are situations where ovulation may not occur despite the use of ovulation-boosting drugs.
One of the many things that makes our approach different from traditional approaches to assisted fertility treatment is our simple, step by step approach to helping you to get pregnant.
“We won’t recommend that you opt for IVF if there is a reasonable chance that either nature or more low level assisted fertility approaches might be worth a try first” Dr Ndukwe
We may recommend IUI if:
- You are experiencing ovulation problems
- When there are sperm issues. This may require the sperm to be washed to improve sperm quality
However it is critical that:
- Your fallopian tubes are open and healthy
- There are no significant problems with sperm numbers or quality
The IUI procedure for men
The male partner provides a sperm sample and we separate fast moving sperm from more sluggish or non-moving sperm. The fast moving sperm are then placed into the woman’s womb close to the time of ovulation.
IUI Success rates
Success rates for IUIs are lower than that of IVF or ICSI (the clinical pregnancy rate of women aged 36 or less is between 15-20%) but the procedure is much quicker and less expensive and, depending on your individual circumstances, can sometimes be done without fertility drugs to boost egg production though, as you would expect, this reduces the likely success rate further.
For some couples this will be the most sensible first step.