What is ICI treatment?
ICI treatment is short for intracervical insemination. It is a method of artificial insemination just like IUI treatment. In ICI treatment, the sperm is placed in the vagina from where it hopefully travels to the uterus and fertilizes the egg.
One of the benefits of using ICI treatment is the financial aspect. Because the sperm is inseminated in the vagina, intracervical insemination (ICI) is considered the least complicated type of assisted reproduction, making it the cheapest fertility treatment. When using ICI treatment, you can also use ICI sperm straws, which cost less than IUI straws.
Another benefit of using intracervical insemination (ICI) is the method itself. Because it is the least complicated form of fertility treatment, women receive it and often walk out the door 20 minutes after treatment, without any pain or discomfort.
There are a lot of different things to remember during fertility treatment, especially if you decide to change treatment or sperm donor. Follow the link to read our checklist of what to do after fertility treatment.
The difference between ICI and IUI sperm straws
When looking for donor sperm for fertility treatment, you can choose between two different types of sperm straws: ICI and IUI. The difference between ICI and IUI sperm straws is whether the sperm has been washed or not. ICI straws are unwashed/unprepared sperm, that contains all the natural fluids present in a normal ejaculation. Unlike ICI sperm, IUI straws are washed/prepared sperm, where all the natural fluids from the ejaculation have been removed.
Read more about the difference between IUI and ICI sperm straws here.
Intracervical insemination (ICI) - step by step
The process of intracervical insemination (ICI) is simple and similar to IUI treatment. There are three steps in ICI treatment. Read more about them here below:
- Step 1 – Fertility test: The first step in ICI treatment will usually be to make sure that the woman receiving the sperm is healthy.
- Step 2 – Ovulation tracking: If she is healthy, her ovulation is tracked to make sure that the donor sperm is inseminated at the right time, thus increasing the chances of successful fertilization.
- Step 3 – Insemination: The last step of the ICI treatment, is the process itself. Once the ovulation has occurred, the ICI treatment will be performed.
Is ICI better than IUI?
IUI treatment has a higher success rate than intracervical insemination (ICI) because the sperm is placed closer to the uterus, making it easier for a single sperm cell to reach and fertilize the egg. On the other hand, ICI treatment costs less and can be done in the familiar surroundings of your own home (in countries that allow home insemination).