ALSO KNOWN AS INTRAUTERINE INSEMINATION, OR IUI, THIS FERTILITY TREATMENT INVOLVES PLACING SPERM DIRECTLY INTO A WOMAN’S UTERUS TO EFFECT FERTILISATION
The aim is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes, effectively giving the sperm an advantage, or head start, so increasing the odds of fertilisation. It still requires a sperm to reach and fertilise the egg on its own, however.
The procedure is less invasive, and less expensive than in vitro fertilisation (IVF). We analyse your partner’s sperm, wash it and select the best to be concentrated and then injected into the uterus. This is done by means of a small syringe connected to a thin plastic catheter.
This option is primarily for couples where the man’s sperm is struggling to naturally fertilise his partner’s egg, or where the sperm has difficulty passing the cervix. The treatment is performed in the consulting rooms. A pregnancy test can be done five days after your next period is due. Following each treatment cycle, the response to the treatment is reviewed and adjusted, if necessary, for the next cycle. If a pregnancy has not been achieved after four to six cycles, an alternative fertility treatment may be required. The most common next step is IVF.
What if I have PCOS?
Although as many as 10% of women have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, a large proportion don’t know until they struggle to fall pregnant and find they could be facing infertility. Characterised by absent or irregular menstrual cycles, PCOS can be treated with ovulation induction. Medication can be used to induce ovulation, with pregnancy subsequently achieved through timed intercourse or intrauterine insemination (IUI).
So who will benefit from this treatment?
- Couples with unexplained infertility.
- Women with mild endometriosis, but open tubes.
- Couples with infertility due to a mild male factor.
- Women with cervical hostility.
- Couples where full penetrative intercourse isn’t possible.
- When men cannot ejaculate in the vagina of their partners.
Are there side-effects?
The procedure itself produces very few side-effects, but you may experience some mild cramping following the insemination. If there are any side-effects, these are more likely to be related to the fertility medications taken to stimulate ovulation. Side-effects of these medications can include hot flashes, mood swings, breast tenderness and/or bloating, nausea, headaches, bruising, or a rash at the injection site. IUI procedures also don’t allow for regulation of the number of eggs ovulated, so there is a higher than normal risk of multiple births.
HART Fertility Clinic Suite 1102, 11th Floor, Netcare Christiaan Barnard Hospital, D.F. Malan Street, Cape Town, 8000
Cell: 081 572 9190
Landline: 021 286 2294
WhatsApp: 082 627 4910