Intrauterine Insemination is a simple procedure to treat infertility, specifically designed for those using donor sperm or those who experience barriers to intercourse. This treatment involves directly inserting prepared sperm into a patient's womb, helping a higher number of better quality sperm reach the womb and thus increasing the chances of pregnancy.
Who is IUI suitable for?
IUI is a good option for single women, same-sex couples, and those with barriers to intercourse. It is also the lowest cost form of assisted reproduction treatment and is a quick, painless process with no need to stay in the clinic afterward. Additionally, no egg collection is required during IUI, meaning that IUI is a minimally invasive procedure, and sedation is not required.
At Gateshead Fertility, we're with you every step of the way.
If you are an NHS patient, you can ask your GP to refer you to us, after which we’ll be in touch to arrange your first consultation. If you are personally funding your fertility treatment, please call our friendly administrative team who will arrange a meeting with one of our fertility specialists.
Testing Takes Place
To give us a better understanding of if you require fertility medication, our Fertility Consultants will ask you to undertake some investigations before the IUI process begins. These include a tubal patency test, hormone assessment, and sperm test.
Tracking Your Progress
You may be asked to take your medication in the form of a once-daily injection for 7-10 days. This is to encourage the growth and development of a follicle. We will scan you throughout this period of growth to identify when the follicle is at its optimal stage for ovulation, before a Fertility Specialist prescribes a medication that will cause you to ovulate and prepare the egg to meet the sperm.
Preparing The Sperm
We will invite your partner to produce a semen sample in our private, dedicated room. Alternatively, if donor sperm is to be used, this will be thawed. Our embryology team will carefully prepare and wash the sample, separating the sperm from the seminal fluid.
Once the sperm is washed, the IUI procedure can begin. Our skilled fertility nurses will insert a speculum into your vagina to hold your vaginal walls apart; this feels very similar to having a smear test. They will then insert a catheter into your womb to deposit the active sperm.
Pregnancy Test and Scan
After two weeks, you will be asked to perform an at-home pregnancy test. If positive, we will arrange a blood pregnancy test and an in-clinic scan. A reassuring second scan is performed after another 2 weeks before we discharge you into antenatal care.
What are my chances of success with Intrauterine Insemination?
Whilst IUI is a less invasive and less expensive option than IVF, pregnancy rates from IUI are lower than IVF. Reasons include the fact that there is no monitoring of embryo development or selection of the most viable embryo as we are able to do with IVF.
The success of IUI depends on many factors, including the reason IUI is being performed. If IUI is being used to help single women or couples using donor sperm, there isn't necessarily a fertility issue preventing them from becoming pregnant. Other factors to consider are the woman's age, the man's sperm count and quality, and whether IUI is carried out in a drug stimulated or natural cycle.
If the pregnancy test shows that your IUI treatment has been unsuccessful, you can start a new cycle straight away. We know fertility treatments can be emotionally exhausting, so our highly trained counselors will be available to you throughout and after your treatment so you can best manage your feelings and the road ahead.
The expected waiting time is usually within 4 months after your initial referral. Due to Covid-19, many fertility clinics waiting times have been extended — at Gateshead you can currently expect to wait around 5 to 6 months.
We have a small team of clinicians here at Gateshead. We will try our best to accommodate special requests but unfortunately we cannot guarantee that you can see the same doctor at each appointment.
Yes, you can still have intercourse throughout treatment however we do advise you to use barrier protection throughout.
Once you have provided consent for your chosen treatment, an invoice is generated from our finance team. This will arrive with you in the post and will provide detailed information on how you can make payment. Please note that your invoice must be paid before you start your treatment.
Yes, you can get your Covid-19 Vaccine. The only time we wouldn’t recommend getting your vaccine is when you are undergoing a procedure. For further reading, please visit the HFEA website for guidance on the vaccine.
All new patients will require an initial consultation with one of our fertility consultants, currently charged at £259. At this appointment the Consultant will take a full medical history and discuss relevant screening tests and investigations.
You will have the opportunity to ask questions about the treatment that is recommended for you and you will be given an indication of the associated costs.
If you decide to undergo treatment with us, a detailed costed treatment plan will be drawn up according to your own individual needs and requirements. This plan will be an estimate of the cost of the main elements of your treatment and will help you to plan and prepare.
The cost of a cycle of IUI is £937 if using partner sperm, and £1,409 if using donor sperm, and includes the following:
– All blood tests
– Sperm test (if partner sperm is being used)
– Ultrasound monitoring
– Sperm preparation and insemination procedure
– Pregnancy Scans
– Follow up appointment
– HFEA fee (if donor sperm is being used)
The cost of the following is NOT included:
– Medication: this can vary according to your needs, but you can expect the cost to be between £60 and £250.
– Donor sperm (if required)