Intrauterine Insemination- IUI
Dr. Kustin and the entire staff at our Seattle Washington infertiity clinic have extensive experience in the treatment of male infertility and have helped many couples achieve pregnancy with IUI using the partner’s or a donor’s sperm. Consequently, the Washington Center for Reproductive Medicine has a very active donor insemination program and uses sperm from only the most reputable sperm banks. These banks provide comprehensive information on all aspects and characteristics of the donors.
AIH- Insemination Using Partner Sperm
Male factor problems form a significant part of the infertility equation (up to 47%). Some couples may be helped by the insemination, into the uterus, of sperm collected from the partner.
His sperm is immediately washed in our on-site laboratory in order to remove impurities and concentrate the sperm into a small volume. After processing, it is instilled directly into the uterine cavity via the cervical os (through the vagina into the uterus) employing a soft catheter.
After insemination, the sperm find their way into the fallopian tubes and eventually to the eggs. Insemination is a simple procedure performed in our Bellevue infertility clinic office, and requires the patient to rest for thirty minutes before resuming normal activities.
Indications for Partner IUI include:
At the Washington Center for Reproductive Medicine in Seattle, Bellevie, WA, we are committed to the ultimate success of our IUI program and maintain an active quality assurance program.
We are able to offer the best results because the sperm is collected adjacent to the laboratory and is immediately incubated and processed. Once this procedure is complete, the insemination is immediately undertaken eliminating the risk of sperm damage during transport from the laboratory to other sites.
Because of the concern over spreading sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s), including HIV, via semen, all donor samples are carefully screened. We only use semen supplied by anonymous donors after it has been quarantined for 6 months and tested again for STD’s. We do not recommend the use of sperm from known donors because of the psychological and social problems that may be associated with this.
Before acceptance as a sperm donor, the anonymous male undergoes rigorous screening including HIV and hepatitis testing as well as documentation of medical, family, and genetic history. Information regarding personal habits, physical appearance, drug, tobacco and alcohol use, education, and interests are recorded.
If the candidate passes this evaluation, his semen is frozen and quarantined for six months and is repeatedly tested for STD’s. All tests must be negative for the sperm to be released for use.
Before insemination, each specimen is evaluated and washed in preparation for intrauterine insemination (IUI). The female’s ovulation has been optimized using fertility medications and her fallopian tubes are known to be open. Ultrasound is used to time the donor IUI procedure. The sperm washing process removes impurities from the semen improving pregnancy rates. Insemination of unwashed sperm can cause serious adverse reactions.
Indications for Donor Sperm IUI include*:
- Total absence of sperm in the semen or testicles
- Previous vasectomy
- Previous cancer therapy with radiation or drugs
Legality of Donor IUI
Before the initiation of donor insemination, a consent form must be signed.
This consent gives the couple the legal right to the child that has been produced from the donor process and protects the anonymity of all parties.
IUI Success Rates
In healthy females, who undergo several cycles of donor insemination, the success rates are approximately 10% per cycle. This rate may be higher if strong fertility drugs are used to cause the development of several eggs. Success rates of “partner insemination” vary because of a combination of the following factors:
Given an understanding of the above factors, the success rate with IUI may be as high as 15% per cycle (pregnancy rates for healthy young couples attempting pregnancy is 25%)
Normally three cycles of IUI are attempted. If pregnancy is not achieved, other options such as IVF are pursued. Dr. Kustin feels that performing repeated cycles of IUI may not be in the patient’s best interest. The cumulative pregnancy rates do not increase significantly and the costs keep adding up for treatments that are not working. It is better to devote funds to other procedures, such as IVF, which are more likely to result in pregnancy.
* It is important to realize that the advent of intracytoplasmic injection (ICSI) technology in an IVF setting has enabled men with only a few sperm isolated from the testicles to successfully father a genetic offspring.