(IUI) is often recommended to treat cervical factor infertility. IUI bypasses the cervical mucous by placing specially prepared sperm directly into the uterus using a small catheter. IUI is usually combined with ovulation inducing medications such as follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
IUI was one of the first infertility treatments and has been successfully used for many years. IUI should only be performed by a physician using sperm that have been specially prepared (concentrated and washed). Use of "unwashed" sperm can lead to very serious allergic reactions. One requirement for fertilization is that sperm must travel through the vagina, pass through the cervix and enter the uterus. Sometimes the female's mucous is "hostile" to the male's sperm; it may be of poor quality, or not produced in sufficient quantity.
Antibodies in the female (and rarely in the male) can destroy sperm. The immune system "mistakes" the sperm for foreign invaders (allergens) and destroys them. IUI avoids the problem of female antibody production by bypassing the cervical mucous. The post-coital (after intercourse) test is often used to diagnose cervical factor disease. The couple has intercourse at home and within eight hours, the mucus is collected and examined by the physician.
The number of sperm present, their shape, ability to swim, the thickness of the mucus, and other factors are assessed. IUI provides good results when cervical factor disease is the only causative factor. If moderate male factor infertility is present, IVF is often recommended as the treatment of first choice dependent upon many patient specific factors.
- Female Infertility
- Overview by Mark Trolice, MD
- Male Factor Infertility
- Ovulatory Dysfunction
- Tubal Factor Infertility
- Uterine Factor Infertility
- Unexplained Infertility
- Infertility Overview- Samuel Thatcher, MD
REPRODUCTIVE OPTIONS IN ONCOLOGY PATIENTS ,
by Bradford Kolb, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.,
Board Certified, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
CONTEMPORARY FERTILITY EVALUATION, by Daniel Potter, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.,
Board Certified, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility,
Huntington Reproductive Center