At BFA we can offer insemination treatments using partner sperm or using donor sperm (often called IUI or DI) to patients between the ages of 23 and 42 years old. For clients having treatment with donors, we offer an exclusive donor catalogue of UK recruited donors to choose from, or you may wish to have your own donor. The actual IUI procedure only takes a few minutes and is usually painless. Some appointments can be arranged outside your working day to reduce taking time off and so you can be more relaxed. There are two sites for treatment to choose which is more convenient.
Who needs IUI ?
Couples with unexplained infertility, women with ovulation problems, couples or single women who require donor sperm can all use IUI treatments. All clients having IUI or DI will have a medical consultation to discuss the issues, costs and risks of the procedure before starting a course of treatment. You may need to undergo tests or scans to confirm your fallopian tubes are healthy and open before you start.
What happens with IUI ?
IUI can be performed with or without ovulation induction. If the doctor decides you do not need help with ovulation , IUI will take place between day 12 – 16 of your cycle depending on when you are ready. The timing of your treatment is determined by an ovulation prediction kit. If you are using donor sperm your choice of donor will be reserved for you and details checked with you on the day.
If you have problems with ovulation, you may be given some drugs to stimulate egg production in the ovary and to help the eggs be released at the best time. If this is the best cycle for you, the doctor will arrange scans to monitor your progress.
The IUI procedure involves washing either partners, or a donors, sperm sample so that the most active sperm are separated and concentrated. The practitioner will use a speculum into the vagina to hold the walls apart ( similar to having a smear test) and a very soft tube is used to insert the washed sperm preparation into the womb. This is usually painless and does not require anaesthetic.
What are the risks with IUI / DI ?
As with any fertility treatment there are risks. These will be discussed with you and you will be given information on the levels of risk for you. The risks may include:
- cancelled cycles – due to failed ovulation or too many eggs produced
- Multiple pregnancy
- Miscarriage as with any pregnancy
- Reactions to ovulation drugs
- Bleeding or infections (rare)
At BFA we understand that fertility treatment is a new process for most people with a lot of information and things to think about which can sometimes be confusing or overwhelming.We want to make sure that you are supported throughout the whole process. We are a small, friendly clinic so you will get to know the team well over the course of your treatment. We are here to listen to your concerns and questions.You will also be offered counselling before you start treatment which is independent of BFA, everything is confidential and you can see the counsellor as many times as you like, even during or after treatment if you feel this is necessary for you. We also provide a private Facebook group through our page that we can add you to. The group is for patients only and gives you a space to discuss your experiences.
We have contacts with groups in Brighton where you can meet up with other patients in the area to discuss your fertility journey. These are independent of BFA and are usually run as coffee mornings or evenings. These events are advertising both on our Facebook page and also in clinic.
You can also find further information about fertility treatment on the following websites:
Fertility Network http://fertilitynetworkuk.org/
If using a donor:
National Gamete Donation Trust http://www.ngdt.co.uk/
Donor Conception Network https://www.dcnetwork.org/
We have multiple consultancy appointments available each month so from initial contact you can expect to be seen by the consultant within a month. Following this, if you are suitable for IUI treatment, you will attend counselling and form filling in the following few weeks after if you are available. If you need to have blood tests and/or a HSG these have to be done on certain days of your cycle so this may delay treatment starting. However, once everything is in place and all paperwork is complete you will be ready to start treatment the following month.
The success rates for BFA can be found on the BFA profile page on the HFEA website, please follow the link below: