Natural cycle IUI may be an option for women who ovulate regularly
Texas Fertility Center offers many effective treatments. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a popular option for patients who want to achieve pregnancy in a more natural way. If this treatment is an option for you, your doctor must decide whether to do a medicated cycle or a natural cycle. As the name suggests, natural cycle IUI works with your natural menstrual cycle. Our Austin infertility clinic team is here to explain what this treatment involves and the types of patients who are good candidates for it.
What is natural cycle IUI?
This treatment option is sometimes called an unmedicated IUI cycle because it doesn’t require you to take fertility medications. Instead, you and your doctor will monitor your menstrual cycle using a urine ovulation predictor kit. This kit measures the amount of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine to determine when you’re ovulating. An elevated LH level, or surge, indicates that your body is releasing an egg.
Once you’re ovulating, you will visit our Austin infertility clinic for your natural cycle IUI. You’ll relax on an exam table and rest your feet in the supports, much like you would do during a routine gynecology appointment.
Your doctor will place a speculum in the vagina followed by a catheter (a thin, flexible tube). He or she will use the catheter to deposit sperm from your partner or sperm donor into your uterus. This process typically takes less than five minutes.
After your doctor removes the catheter, you will then remain still for about 10 minutes. However, you can resume your normal daily activities after that. You may notice some cramping or light bleeding after your IUI, but these symptoms should resolve on their own.
Who is a candidate for an unmedicated cycle?
To be a candidate for natural cycle IUI, you must have regular menstrual cycles and ovulation. This is because you will not take any medications to help produce and ovulate an egg. You must also have open fallopian tubes so that the egg and sperm can meet.
Our Austin infertility clinic team finds that different types of patients can be good candidates for an unmedicated IUI cycle.
- Cervical issues like scarring or an abnormal shape can make it more difficult for the sperm to reach the egg. However, IUI can help overcome these problems.
- Unexplained infertility is a diagnosis that means a patient who has normal test results is still unable to conceive. IUI can sometimes help with this diagnosis.
- Mild male infertility or problems with ejaculation can often be overcome with help from intrauterine insemination.
- Patients using donor sperm may also benefit from this fertility treatment.
During an unmedicated IUI cycle, pregnancy rates are approximately 6-10% per cycle. If you don’t conceive using this fertility treatment, your doctor might suggest trying a medicated IUI cycle.
Contact us to schedule an appointment if you would like to learn more about conceiving with intrauterine insemination, or artificial insemination. Our team can help you get started on your family-building journey.