For Lesbian couples, there are many options available to help you create your family. If the desire is for one partner to provide the eggs and carry the pregnancy, IVF may not be necessary. IUI (intrauterine insemination) is often the first form of fertility intervention for a patient to consider. IUI is a fertility treatment that uses a catheter to place a number of washed sperm directly into the uterus. The sperm then quickly reaches the fallopian tubes, where fertilization of the egg should take place. IUI is most often used for patients with open fallopian tubes and normal sperm, in combination with fertility medications such as Clomid or FSH injections.
IUI is often overused in fertility treatment and, in conjunction with fertility medications, can lead to a significantly increased risk for multiple births.
When looking at IUI as a means of fertility treatment, several factors should be considered. Though IUI is a less expensive treatment as compared to IVF, its success rates are also significantly lower. Most studies show success rates between 5 and 15% for IUI, while IVF pregnancy rates for many patients are 5 to 10 times higher, making the overall cost per live birth much lower for IVF than for IUI.