The Latest IUI Method-the Evie
The newest Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is known as the "Evie" and is a pump which releases sperm very slowly and gradually over a period of several hours. The Evie most closely emulates nature, and was developed by researchers in Israel. The Evie has been thoroughly tested in trials and studies in Germany, England and Israel and has garnered European and FDA approval. It is expected that the Evie procedure should be available sometime this year, and the initial trial results are exciting-the success rate of Evie as compared to traditional IUI is almost double, making it comparable to In vitro Fertilization. Not only does the Evie work as well as IVF, it is less invasive and much less costly, making it an appealing choice for couples who are having trouble conceiving, and also have limited financial resources.
How Does the Evie Work?
The Evie is akin to a regular catheter setup, however the catheter tube goes into the uterus. The catheter is implanted into the uterus at the fertility clinic after being pre-filled with washed sperm, and a button is pressed to activate the tiny disposable pump with a timer attached. The device is strapped firmly to the woman's leg, and she can leave the clinic and go home or go about her normal life. The sperm are released over a three to four hour period, and when the time is up, the woman will push another button which injects any leftover sperm. At this point the woman can simply remove the Evie, and throw the whole unit away-no doctor involvement required! Because there is such a small window for a woman to become pregnant, doctors are hopeful that the Evie can extend that period of time by more closely mimicking nature, thus allowing a much better opportunity for conception.
Sperm Washing and the Evie
As with any IUI procedure, your partner's sperm must first be made ready before being placed inside the Evie device. Sperm washing increases a couple's chance of conception by ensuring only the healthiest sperm will be used for the IUI procedure. Sperm washing essentially separates the semen from the sperm, which eliminates dead sperm or the slow-moving ones, and removes any possible chemical contamination which could negatively affect the IUI procedure. If unwashed semen is sent directly to the uterus before it is filtered through the cervix, it can cause extreme pain and cramping, and can even cause uterine collapse, which is another reason for sperm washing prior to IUI.
The most common sperm-washing technique places the semen in a test tube where it is then diluted with antibiotics and protein supplements before being spun around in a centrifuge machine at extremely high speeds. During the spinning, the sperm naturally falls to the bottom of the tube which renders dense, highly active sperm to be removed from the test tube and placed in the Evie IUI. Sperm washes generally take around half an hour or a bit longer.
Advantages of Evie
The Evie increases the window of opportunity for conception, and significantly enhances the success rate of IUI at little extra cost. This may allow a couple to avoid more expensive and invasive techniques such as IVF, and is simple and fairly user-friendly. There is no sperm leakage such as is typically experienced during conventional IUI, and the Evie has nearly a 10% higher rate of success than typical IUI. If you are interested in trying out this revolutionary new process, you should speak to your physician and see if you are a good candidate and if it is available in your area. Your insurance plan may or may not pay for the Evie procedure.