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Intrauterine Insemination

The sperm used in your IUI can come from your partner or from a donor; it depends on the health of your partner's sperm and what you have both decided. Of those who use a donor, many prefer to use sperm provided by someone they know personally, while others choose to use a sample provided by an anonymous donor. As many as one in eight infertile couples turn to donor insemination in order to conceive. Some people who commonly choose donor sperm include single women, same-sex couples, men with no sperm, low sperm counts or poor sperm motility, or if the man has an infection or genetic defect that could be passed on to a child.

IUI should not be used in women with blocked fallopian tubes or in women over 40.

Risks

One of the greatest benefits of IUI is that it allows for fertilization to occur naturally inside your body. It is one of the least stressful fertility treatments on the body, especially if there are no fertility drugs taken, and it imposes very few associated risks.

You may experience some cramping or spotting during or following the procedure, and there is a chance you could develop an infection, including STDs, if the sperm has not been properly screened. The risks that come with fertility drugs, such as breast and uterine cancers, are specific to particular types of medications.

Success Rates

IUI success rates depend on your age and your health, as well as the health of your partner's (or donor's) sperm. Younger women usually have greater success than women over the age of 35. Sperm count also greatly affects the outcome of IUI procedures. As with natural fertility, the higher the sperm count, the higher the success rates.

When no fertility drugs are used, the success rate of IUI is as low as 6 percent. With fertility drugs, however, your body produces several mature eggs rather than just one, increasing your chance of getting pregnant to nearly 30 percent. On average, the success rate associated with IUI is 15 to 20 percent in one cycle.

When repeated insemination procedures don't work, IVF is usually the next step in fertility treatment. Although it is much more costly and invasive, it has much higher rates of success per cycle.

Cost

The cost of one cycle of IUI may vary from fertility clinic to fertility clinic, and will depend on where you live and whether you use your partner's sperm or a donor's. If you use your partner's sperm, the average cost of IUI is between $300 and $700 for each cycle; donor sperm costs a bit more. There may also be extra costs for fertility medications, ultrasounds and blood work.

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Featured Sites:

Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen



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