An approach to treating infertility is intrauterine insemination (IUI), artificial insemination.
Sperm is immediately put into your uterus when your ovary produces one or more eggs that need to be fertilized, cleansed, and concentrated.
The goal of intrauterine insemination is to have the sperm enter the fallopian tube, fertilize an already mature egg, and result in a pregnancy. Depending on the reason for your infertility, IUI can be combined with your regular cycle or fertility drugs.
What Is The Procedure For IUI?
Intrauterine insemination is referred to as IUI. Donor insemination is also known as alternative insemination or artificial insemination. IUI works by injecting sperm cells straight into your uterus when ovulating, allowing the sperm to reach closer to your egg. This reduces the distance and time the sperm has to cover, which facilitates fertilization of your egg.
You may use fertility medications that induce ovulation before the insemination operation. Semen is obtained from either your partner or a donor. It goes through a “sperm washing” process that collects a concentrated number of healthy sperm from the sperm.
Your gynecologist will next implant the sperm right into your uterus. When your egg is fertilized by sperm and implants in the uterine lining, pregnancy results.
IUI is a low-tech method often less expensive than other reproductive treatments. It enhances your chances of getting pregnant, but because everyone’s bodies are different, there’s no certainty that IUI will work.
The chance of serious side effects is low with intrauterine insemination, a relatively simple and secure procedure. Some of the risks include:
- Infection: As a result of the procedure, there is a very small probability of infection.
- Spotting: There may be a small amount of vaginal bleeding during the catheter installation. Usually, this doesn’t significantly affect the likelihood of conception.
- Multiple pregnancies: There is no proof that IUI makes it more likely for women to have multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets, or more). However, the chance of multiple pregnancies increases when paired with ovulation-inducing drugs. Premature labor and low birth weight are risks that multiple pregnancies bear over a single pregnancy.
How Should One Prepare For IUI Therapy?
It would help if you underwent fertility tests and a comprehensive physical examination before beginning IUI treatment. Also being inspected and tested will be your partner. This might comprise:
- A uterine examination.
- Your uterus’s ultrasound.
- A study of the sperm.
- Screening for infectious diseases and STIs (sexually transmitted infections).
- A blood test.
- Your doctor could advise taking folic acid, typically in prenatal vitamins, at least three months before trying for a baby (or getting IUI treatment).
What To Expect?
The procedure is typically carried out in a doctor’s office or clinic and lasts 15 to 20 minutes. The IUI method is quick and painless and only takes a few minutes. Your doctor or a suitably qualified nurse performs the procedure.
Throughout The IUI Treatment
You lay on an examination table and put your legs into stirrups. An instrument identical to the one used during a Pap test is placed into the vagina. The doctor or nurse will complete the following tasks throughout the procedure:
- Attaches a long, thin, flexible tube (catheter) to the end of a vial containing a quantity of healthy sperm.
- The cervical aperture and the uterus are used to insert the catheter into the female reproductive system.
- It uses a catheter to inject a sample of sperm into the uterus.
- The speculum is taken out last, then the catheter.
Following The IUI Procedure
You lay on your back for a short while after fertilization. After the operation, you can dress and continue your normal daily activities. After the surgery, you may experience some minor spotting for a day or two.
What Adverse Effects Of IUI Are Most Typical?
Mild adverse effects from fertility medicines have been reported in some patients. The most common adverse responses after insemination are cramps and spotting.
IUI can be physically and mentally taxing. When using assisted reproductive technology to try to create a child, couples or individuals frequently feel depression. If you’re feeling frustrated or overburdened, talk to your healthcare professional so they can support you through the procedure.
How Soon After An IUI Do You Find Out You Are Pregnant?
About two weeks following IUI, you can tell if you’re pregnant. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) takes roughly that long to show up in blood or urine. Your doctor will advise you whether you should have another blood test to check for pregnancy or whether you can use an at-home urine test.
How Many IUI Cycles Are Tried Before IVF?
Before beginning additional reproductive procedures, such as IVF, most healthcare professionals advise completing three cycles of IUI. Some medical professionals advise just one cycle of IUI before switching to IVF if you’re over 40. This is due to the higher success rates of IVF in that age group and the value of prompt treatment.
In some circumstances, it may be preferable to forego IUI and proceed directly to IVF therapy. This is the case if you have endometriosis, fallopian tube damage, or advanced maternal age.
Consult your healthcare professional if you’re experiencing trouble getting pregnant. You have alternatives if you’re struggling with infertility, which affects many people. One of the alternatives might be IUI. Your healthcare professional will work with you to choose the best fertility therapy to increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
After three rounds of IUI, if you are still not pregnant, your healthcare professional will go over the next course of action with you.
IUI is a safe and efficient fertility procedure that can raise the odds of conception for infertile couples.