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Is IUI treatment right for me?

10th December 2021 in Advice, Fertility, Infertility, IVF, Treatments

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

We understand everyone’s fertility journey is different and that when you are researching fertility treatments, knowing what treatment is right for you can be overwhelming. Here at Manchester Fertility, we ensure every patient receives a personalised treatment plan and dedicated care and support from our passionate team of experts.

A lot of information about fertility treatment tends to focus on IVF, but IVF is not the only treatment available. One of the main types of fertility treatment is called Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or ‘artificial insemination’.

What is IUI?

IUI encourages pregnancy by placing prepared, quality sperm into your uterus and close to the egg at around the time when you would naturally ovulate. The idea being that when you ovulate, the sperm naturally fertilizes the egg.

A typical cycle of treatment takes around four weeks, and usually requires no fertility medication. Two weeks after insemination, you take a pregnancy test to see if the treatment has been successful.

When is IUI recommended?

Some of the reasons our highly experienced specialists might recommend IUI as a suitable treatment for you include: 

  • You want to use donor sperm
  • You want to use frozen sperm from your partner
  • You have ovulation issues – in which case, IUI can be used in conjunction with fertility drugs to boost the number of eggs you produce 
  • IUI might not be suitable if there are issues with your partner’s sperm, or your fallopian tubes are blocked. If this is the case, our fertility specialist will advise you on other options, such as IVF.

What’s the difference between IUI and IVF?

IUI treatment  involves inserting the sperm into your uterus at the time you are ovulating.

In contrast, with IVF, your eggs are retrieved and fertilised with the sperm in the laboratory. The fertilised egg is then placed into your uterus to implant and grow for pregnancy.

Your fertility specialist will advise you during your consultation if they recommend IUI or IVF treatment. You can find more details about the types of fertility treatments, including IUI and IVF,  here.

Would IUI be suitable for me?

IUI is most effective as a treatment for women in their twenties and thirties, although many older women start or add to their family in this way, too.

As IUI is carried out without fertility medications, you are relying on the egg you naturally ovulate that month. However, as the outcome of IUI closely mimics natural conception, you may need a course of treatment rather than one cycle, just as you may need to try for a few months to get pregnant naturally.

It’s a quicker procedure than IVF, but its success rates are generally aligned with natural conception rates per cycle and are therefore lower.

If you’re interested in learning more, why not talk to us about it? As one of the UK’s leading fertility specialists, and an award-winning clinic, we have been creating families for over 35 years with over 7,000 babies born. Our expert team can discuss with you your situation and advise you if you might be suitable for IUI, or any other fertility treatment. 

What does IUI involve?

The IUI process begins with a pre-treatment investigation to ensure IUI is suitable for you. This includes you using an ovulation predictor kit at home to test for ovulation across a couple of cycles, so we know if you are ovulating or will need fertility medications.

We will assess your risk of having tubal problems and discuss whether a fallopian tube test is needed. If you have a partner, we will also need to check his sperm for any issues.

At this stage, your fertility consultant will explain your personal treatment process, including the possible use of fertility tests and what’s involved in using partner or donor sperm. You’ll also be given a fully costed and transparently-priced treatment plan.

The IUI treatment process

There are typically four stages in the IUI process:

Stage 1 - Identifying ovulation

IUI is usually performed in a natural cycle, using the egg you ovulate each month. Or you can use fertility drugs if you have irregular ovulation. We will be able to check when you have ovulated.

Stage 2 - Preparing sperm for insemination

Sperm is washed and prepared in a process that separates the sperm from the seminal fluid. After washing, only the most active sperm remain.

Stage 3 – IUI insemination

The washed sperm is gently inserted into the uterus using a fine catheter, in a simple and painless procedure.

Stage 4 – Pregnancy test

You can take a pregnancy test two weeks later. If your pregnancy test is positive, we’ll arrange for your first pregnancy scan at our clinic. Our midwife will support you during this time.

What if IUI doesn’t work for me?

Some women do conceive the first time through IUI; however, it isn’t uncommon to have more than one cycle of insemination to achieve pregnancy. If the IUI treatment is unsuccessful, your fertility specialists will review your cycle and advise you on your next steps that is right for you.

What does IUI treatment cost?

We are completely transparent with our pricing, which means you are fully aware of the costs from the very beginning. You’ll receive a full breakdown of your IUI cycle’s costs at your consultation, as part of your treatment plan. You can visit our price list here or try out our Cost Calculator for an indicative price.

Why choose Manchester Fertility for your IUI treatment?

Our warm, welcoming approach is centred on the individual needs of every patient that comes to us. We see every patient as unique and provide treatment plans that are matched to your specific circumstances, providing expert advice and guidance that is clear, honest and transparent, including whether IUI is the best treatment option for you.

At our state-of-the-art, award-winning clinic, our passionate team is dedicated to helping people achieve their dreams of becoming parents. This includes experienced and dedicated health professionals at every level – doctors, consultants, embryologists, midwifes and nurses – supported by our caring and highly experienced New Patient Team and In-Patient Team to support you from the moment you contact us.

What care and support is available?

We understand that undergoing fertility treatment is an emotional journey, so we do all we can to support and reassure you throughout, with genuine care and compassion.

Our expert team includes our highly skilled Fertility Counsellors who understand what you’re going through. In sessions with your partner or by yourself, we will listen sympathetically, helping to put your mind at ease and make sure you fully understand everything involved. All sessions are highly confidential and private.

We also have a Fertility Support Group on Facebook run by our Senior Patient Advisor Hayley which gives you the opportunity to connect with other patients and share your experiences.

Our team can be contacted by phone or email – or even more conveniently by SALVE, our own dedicated mobile app, which puts support and advice at your fingertips.  It enables you to send messages to the team, ask questions, schedule appointment reminders and access documents or information.

Read about Magda’s IUI journey

“We are forever grateful to all of the wonderful staff from Manchester Fertility for their care from day one to the very end; without them, it wouldn't have happened.”

One of the most heart-warming stories is Magda’s story, which tells how they became a family of five by having three beautiful children through IUI, with a little help from Manchester Fertility.

You can read more stories from our patients here.

Take the first step on your IUI journey

Your pathway to parenthood begins with a simple step. To discuss IUI and find out if it’s right for you, call us on 0161 300 2737 or book a no-obligation 1-2-1 discovery appointment with our New Patient team online.

Last updated: 16th December 2021