Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) a type of artificial insemination which is a procedure for treating infertility. In a process of inducing washed sperm inside the women’s uterus at the period that she is ovulating. Most commonly performed after failure of normal conception. IUI is recommended is especially when sperm has had difficulty reaching the egg and is it best to use it in conjunction with the use of fertility medication.
What is intrauterine insemination (IUI)?
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a fertility procedure in which sperm are washed, concentrated, and injected directly into a woman’s uterus. In natural intercourse, only a fraction of the sperm makes it up the woman’s genital tract. IUI increases the number of sperm in the fallopian tubes, where fertilization takes place. IUI may be done in a natural cycle but is commonly performed with fertility medications to enhance ovulation. Thus, an approach to enhancing their fertility.
When IUI is best recommended as an option?
IUI is normally the first practice used if a woman cannot conceive either naturally or with the use of fertility medications alone. It may be recommended for several diagnoses of infertility, most often in couples who have:
- Unexplained infertility.
- Endometriosis-related infertility.
- Mild male factor infertility (subfertility).
- Cervical factor infertility.
- Ovulatory factor infertility, such as those that occur with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Semen allergy.
- Blocked fallopian tubes or tubal damage
- Ovarian failure or lack of ovulation
- Significantly reduced ovarian reserve
- Advanced endometriosis
- Severe male factor infertility
- Ovulation problems, such as those that occur with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
What is the preparation prior to IUI?
- Transvaginal ultrasound -Intrauterine insemination involves careful coordination before the actual procedure
- Preparing the semen sample. Your partner provides a semen sample at the doctor’s office, or a vial of frozen donor sperm can be thawed and prepared. Because non-sperm elements in semen can cause reactions in the woman’s body that interfere with fertilization, the sample will be washed in a way that separates the highly active, normal sperm from lower quality sperm and other elements. The likelihood of achieving pregnancy increases by using a small, highly concentrated sample of healthy sperm.
- Monitoring for ovulation. Because the timing of IUI is crucial, monitoring for signs of impending ovulation is critical. To do this, you might use an at-home urine ovulation predictor kit that detects when your body produces a surge or release of luteinizing hormone (LH). Or, an imaging method that lets your doctor visualize your ovaries and egg growth (transvaginal ultrasound) can be done. You also may be given an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) or medications to make you ovulate one or more eggs at the right time.
- Determining optimal timing. Most IUIs are done a day or two after detecting ovulation. Your doctor or other care providers will have a plan spelled out for the timing of your procedure and what to expect.
How is IUI done?
IUI is usually done with affiliated controlled ovarian stimulus using fertility medications, such as clomiphene citrate or injected gonadotropins. IUI can be timed via ovulation cycle, as when the patient’s ovulation is being monitored by her obstetrician. This will determine the proper timing for the IUI procedure.
Prior to the IUI procedure, a semen sample will be collected from the male partner through ejaculation into a sterile container and then washed. Sperm washing refers to the laboratory technique that separates sperm from semen and non-motile sperm from motile sperm. Approximately 2 hours are required to process the sperm. The IUI procedure usually takes place quickly after sperm washing has been completed.
To make for the IUI procedure itself, a speculum will be introduced into the woman’s vagina and then a thin, flexible catheter will be placed into the cervix. Washed or processed sperm are then injected directly into the uterus with a syringe. The procedure is not uncomfortable for most women.
After insemination, you’ll be asked to lie on your back for 30 minutes. Once the procedure is over, you can get dressed and go about your normal daily activities. You may experience some light spotting for a day or two after the procedure.
What are the possible complications of IUI?
While complications of the IUI procedure itself are uncommon, they can include brief uterine discomfort and infection. Risks of controlled ovarian hyperstimulation with IUI are increased when fertility medications are used. These include multiple pregnancies and Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS). OHSS is a serious complication, which rarely may result in fluid imbalance, blood clotting problems, and cardiopulmonary compromise. Thus, it is advised that IUI using proper technique handled by a Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI) specialist.
How many IUIs can a couple have?
It is advised in most medical guidelines that 3-6 repeat cycles of IUI may be performed, permitting that there are no serious causes of infertility identified.
What is the success rate of IUI?
The percent of couples that become pregnant after a cycle of IUI ranges from 10 to 20 percent. However, there may be other factors that need to be considered in predicting possible success in IUI. These include the age of the wife, quality of semen of the husband, and cause of infertility.
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