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)