Average number of sperms needed for IUI - Dr Hrishikesh Pai

Average number of sperms needed for IUI

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Male factor infertility affects 9% of men and one out of every three infertile couples. Low sperm count, unsurprisingly, is the most talked-about problem. When there aren’t enough high-quality sperms to reach the egg, the probability of conceiving is minimal.

The question then arises: is it possible to conceive with a poor sperm count? The answer is yes, but only with minimal assistance. Men have a chance to impregnate their female partners, thanks to modern assisted reproductive techniques like intrauterine insemination (IUI).

Why is sperm count important?

Unlike women, who have a fixed number of eggs across their life, men contain millions of sperms from the moment they are born. The estimated sperm count per millilitre of sperm is around 15 million to 200 million. 

About the fact that only one sperm is required to fertilize an egg, sperm count is important. Without a high count, the chances of the one good sperm fertilizing the egg are minimal to none.

Is your sperm count low? IUI can help

Even in cases of severe sperm count deficiency, medication has shown to be a great option. Intrauterine insemination, or IUI, is a surgical procedure in which sperm is manually placed in a woman’s uterus by a gynecologist.

The goal is to avoid going through the fallopian tubes, hopefully allowing more potent sperm to fertilize the egg. IUI is the first step gynecologists take in the assisted reproductive technology (ART).

Is IUI effective?

Even if the sperm count is poor, IUI will help in conception. However, the lower the count, the lower the chance of success. According to research, IUI, with at least nine million motile sperm, had a 17% success rate. However, as the sperm count dropped below nine million, the success rates declined as well. 

Fertility experts will do everything possible, including sperm washing, to increase possibilities. IUI success rates differ, even with a higher sperm count.

What if IUI doesn’t work?

  • If IUI fails, IVF doctors in India often see in vitro fertilization as the next move. In IVF, fertilization takes place outside the body in an advanced IVF lab. 
  • Only some of the well-equipped IVF centres in India offer IVF treatment. An IVF doctor extracts the eggs and incubates them with the sperms in a petri dish to achieve fertilization. 
  • The fertilized egg is then implanted in the uterus to achieve pregnancy. It may require several IVF cycles to achieve a successful conception.

The proper treatment relies on various factors, including the severity of infertility and the couple’s financial situation. Couples with low sperm counts can get pregnant using IUI or IVF. However, in cases with low sperm count, evidence suggests that IVF could be more effective than IUI. Consult an experienced gynecologist for a fertility evaluation. The doctor will recommend which treatment will provide the best outcomes for you.

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