1. Who is suitable for intrauterine insemination?
It is useful when the patient's spouse has mild or moderate sperm problems.
2. What does the process involve?
- In the woman, it involves doing serial ultrasound scan to monitor the growth of the follicle (which contains the egg) in order to detect ovulation. Once the size of the ovarian follicle reaches 18mm, she will then be given a subcutaneous injection, hCG, to mature the egg within the follicle.
- The husband will have to produce semen sample on the morning of the IUI. The sample will then be prepared in the laboratory so that the best quality sperm are selected.
- Intrauterine insemination will then be performed 36 - 40 hours after the injection.
- The procedure itself is quick and painless. A speculum will be placed in the vagina to visualise the cervix. The sperm preparation is then placed in the uterus using a thin catheter.
3. What if the husband is not around during the IUI?
It is possible for the husband to provide semen sample in advance and for the specimen to be frozen. On the day of the IUI, the sample will be thawed and prepared in the usual way. This avoids the problem of the husband being absent on the day of the IUI.
However, it is usually advisable to provide fresh semen sample.
The other option will be to cancel the cycle and try again when the husband is around.
4. What are the risks of Intrauterine insemination?
Natural cycle IUI does not pose much risk at all.
Stimulated IUI can lead to multiple follicular growth, and therefore increasing the chance of a multiple pregnancy.
5. What is the success rate of IUI?
The success rate for this procedure is approximately 9% per cycle.
6. How many times can a couple try IUI?
IUI can be attempted as many times as the couple wishes.
However, the likelihood of success decreases with increasing numbers of failed IUI.
The couple must remember that increasing woman's age reduces fertility.
The current recommendation is to try 3 cycles of IUI, and proceed to in vitro fertilization (IVF) if unsuccessful.
7. How much does it cost?
In NUH, the cost of IUI procedure is about SGD$660-$760, excluding GST.
Please note that the cost exclude doctor consultation fee, medication and other investigation costs.
For more information on the preparation for the IVF programme, overview of the IVF schedule, risks and complications and the protocols, please click here to read our patient education brochure.