If you and your partner have been trying to conceive for over a year now and are unable to do so then intrauterine insemination technique can be of great help. This medical procedure is widely used to treat infertility issues, thereby increasing your chances of getting pregnant. IUI is a commonly used reproductive procedure facilitating fertilization. In this procedure, sperms are directly placed inside the uterus at the time when the ovary releases multiple eggs.
The process of pregnancy involves the fertilization of the egg when the sperm reaches it swimming through the reproductive organs i.e. cervix and fallopian tube. However, if this does not happen, then UI fertility treatment can be used to increase the number of healthy sperms that reach the fallopian tubes to achieve pregnancy. Intrauterine insemination technique is also known as artificial insemination or donor insemination.
When to opt for intrauterine insemination technique?
Intrauterine insemination technique is often opted by couples in following scenarios:
- Unexplained fertility: In cases where the reason of infertility is unknown, IUI is advised.
- Donor sperm: This is the mostly commonly used technique for women who require donor sperm to achieve pregnancy.
- Endometriosis related infertility: Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside it. For treating infertility caused due to this issue, medication is given for obtaining good quality eggs and IUI is a preferred option.
- Infertility caused due to ovulation factor: Women who have ovulation issues i.e. less production of eggs or absence of ovulation altogether can opt for IUI.
- Infertility caused due to cervical issues: This issue generally relates to having a thick cervical mucus or a cervical scar tissue (caused due to biopsy or another medical condition) can prevent the sperm from entering the uterus. In this case, IUI treatment can help.
- Male infertility: Male infertility problem such as low sperm count, less motility or ejaculation issue. IUI helps in choosing healthy sperms that can increase the chances of fertilization.
- Semen allergy: This is a rare condition in which a woman can have allergy to her partner’s semen. There are chances of semen ejaculation causing redness or burning sensation in the vagina, which can prevent pregnancy. Though a condom can protect the symptom but the result will be no pregnancy. IUI can be very effective in this case.
Intrauterine Insemination Procedure
IUI is generally a painless and affordable fertility treatment and can also be opted for without using any medication depending on your period cycle.
IUI procedure generally involves the below steps
- At the time of menstruation, you will have to visit the doctor for blood test, ultrasound and for medicine prescription.
- In case if you require medication, you will be prescribed a few medications that you will have to take during your menstruation.
- After a week, you will have to again pay a visit for a blood test and ultrasound
- Depending on the results of the tests conducted, the status of your ovulation will be determined.
- Semen samples of your partner are collected
- The IUI procedure will be performed at the time of your ovulation
- The semen sample collected will be washed in the lab. Sperm will be separated from the seminal fluid.
- You will be asked to lie down and the doctor will and a catheter is inserted into the vagina
- The sperm sample is pushed through the tube into the uterus
- The catheter is then used and you will be asked to relax for a while
- Once the procedure is completed, you can go back home and carry on with your normal daily activities
- You may experience mild cramping or spotting for a day or two
- Two to three weeks after the IUI procedure, you will be asked to do a pregnancy test
Risks associated with Intrauterine Insemination Technique
The risk of any serious complication arising out of IUI is very low. However, in some cases, IUI may result in the following risks:
- Infection: There is a slight risk of developing infection as a result of the procedure.
- Spotting: The catheter placing process can at times can lead to vaginal bleeding.
- Multiple pregnancies: Ovulation induction medicines can increase the risk of multiple pregnancies.
In few cases, IUI can also cause the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Vomiting and nausea
- Abdominal cramps
What is the success rate of IUI procedure?
The success of intrauterine insemination technique depends on a number of factors including your age, medications you consume and the cause of your infertility. Depending on the other health factors, the success factor may vary from 10%-20%. In case if you are unable to conceive through IUI, then the doctor may suggest you to opt for IVF.