Sep 04 2016

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) for Endometriosis: Is It a Good Idea?


A woman holding her babyHere at the Centre for Reproductive Medicine, we want to give people throughout the greater Lubbock area various options when it comes to fertility treatment. This means offering in vitro fertilization (IVF) as well as artificial insemination techniques such as IUI. Both can prove effective in various situations.

When it comes to addressing infertility linked to endometriosis, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Let's go over the basics of this issues right now.

What Is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue on the inside of the uterus (the endometrium) spreads and grows in other parts of a woman's abdominal cavity/pelvic organs. The tissue commonly affects the ovaries and the fallopian tubes.

The endometrium outside of the uterus reacts just like it would otherwise, thickening and breaking down during a woman's menstrual cycle. This can lead to irritation, adhesions, and scar tissue on the affected organs.

It's been estimated that somewhere between 5 percent and 10 percent of all women suffer from endometriosis.

How Endometriosis Can Lead to Infertility

Studies have found that between 30 percent and 40 percent of infertile women have endometriosis. This does not mean that all women with endometriosis are infertile, however. The stage and nature of the endometriosis is important to consider.

In some cases, the infertility is a result of irregular ovulation. If cysts develop in different pelvic organs, this can result in issues with egg and embryo movement within a woman's fallopian tubes, making pregnancy extremely difficult.

What Is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a form of artificial insemination. During the IUI procedure, a catheter is used to introduce a man's sperm into the uterus. This bypasses the cervix and improves the chances of successful pregnancy and live birth when compared to other forms of artificial insemination.

Is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) an Effective Fertility Treatment?

It can be, though it is not always successful even in women without endometriosis. One important factor to consider is that artificial insemination does not guarantee successful fertilization of an egg, it simply places the sperm closer to the egg, relatively speaking. The sperm must still swim and reach a waiting egg at the right time, and the fertilized egg must transport to the uterus following fertilization. Since endometriosis can affect the transport of the egg, this is simply not accounted for in the IUI process.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) vs. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

If IUI is not a viable option to consider, in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be more ideal. This process involves the fertilization of an egg in a lab setting. The fertilized egg is allowed to develop into an embryo, and then it is placed into the uterus in order to develop.

Why One Fertility Treatment May Be Superior

Since IVF takes place predominantly in a lab setting where the situation is carefulyl monitored and controlled, it tends to yield higher rates of success than IUI, particularly when dealing with issues such as endometriosis.

Keep in mind that this is no guarantee of success since there are various factors at play. In addition, there may be additional infertility issues to consider that affect the effectiveness of the treatment process. We can discuss all options in greater detail during the consultation process.

Speak with an Experienced Fertility Specialist

To learn more about artificial insemination and how it can be used to address a whole host of issues, be sure to contact our fertility treatment specialists today. The team at the Centre for Reproductive Medicine is here to help you start the family you have always wanted to have.

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The Centre for Reproductive Medicine
Lubbock Office

Address: 3405 22nd St Ste 300
Lubbock, TX 79410

Phone: (806) 788-1212