Intrauterine insemination-IUI is the first-line treatment for infertility. It is less stressful, non-invasive, and inexpensive than in vitro fertilization and other ART procedures such as IMSI, ICSI, etc. Therefore, most fertility or IVF doctor in India often recommend it when a male partner is subfertile or in case of unexplained infertility.
IUI is an artificial insemination technique that involves introducing processed sperms directly into the uterus using a catheter. The expectation is that putting the sperm in the uterus will raise the likelihood of the sperm making it into the fallopian tube near an egg and fertilizing it.
IUI should be performed in conjunction with ovarian stimulation. It can be done within 12 to 24 hours of detecting a luteinizing hormone surge or 12 to 36 hours of administering hCG hormone.
Reasons for Performing IUI
If a woman is failing to conceive for several reasons, she can undergo IUI. These reasons include:
- Mild male factor infertility
- Single tube damage or blockage
- Unexplained infertility
- When using donor sperm
Double vs. Single IUI
On the day of ovulation, IUI is typically done only once a cycle (single IUI). Fertility experts can inseminate the patient twice on consecutive days, usually the day before and the day of ovulation.The best time to do a double IUI is 12-18 hours after injecting hCG hormone, followed by a second IUI 34-60 hours later.
Are there any benefits of a double IUI over a single IUI?
Most research has shown little to no difference in effectiveness when double vs. single IUI is done. However, some studies suggest that double IUI may boost the chances of conception in a small number of cases of male factor infertility, especially when the sperm count is low. In subfertile couples, there is proof that double IUI is superior to single IUI.
Since information on double IUI and single IUI benefits is minimal, fertility doctors usually consider each couple’s condition before determining which approach is best. However, the data suggest that timing is the most crucial element in both double and single IUI.