A new retrospective study by international leading fertility clinic IVI has found that there is a positive correlation between the detection of follicle rupture and an increased number of uterine contractions per minute, with the success of the IUI assisted reproduction model.
To summarise, IUI is an effective method of assisted reproduction which involves ‘washed’ sperm being injected via a catheter directly into the uterus. It is mainly used to treat mild male infertility and unexplained infertility.
The IVI study involved 610 women, and included data from a total of 979 IUI cycles – collected between 2005 and 2010 from women receiving treatment at the IVI clinic in Seville.
The aim of the study was to analyse two factors (follicle rupture and number of uterine contractions per minute) measured after an IUI cycle.
The patients all underwent two consecutive IUIs – performed 12 hours and 36 hours after the ovulation inducing hormone hCG had been administered. Following each insemination a transvaginal ultrasound scan was performed to measure the number of uterine contractions that occurred in one minute. Follicle rupture was also assessed by ultrasound following the second insemination.
The results of this new study are particularly interesting for those in the fertility/medical industries for a number of reasons summarised below:
· When combined with ovarian hyperstimulation, IUI is known to be a more cost effective and less invasive version of IVF however, it has previously also been deemed less effective (10-20% success rate per patient). The results of the IVI study have discovered that by looking at both the detection of follicle rupture and uterine contractions immediately following the IUI performed 36 hours after hCG injection, we can predict the outcome of the procedure, therefore increasing success rates.
· There have been many studies in the past which have looked at the process of IUI however, this is the first time that both follicle rupture and the number of uterine contractions per minute have been explored in depth.
· Previous studies into other methods of assisted reproduction such as IVF and ET cycles have found that the presence of uterine contractions has had a negative effect on pregnancy rates. However, in this latest study IVI have found that these contractions have a positive effect on the success rates of IUI treatments.