Anyone considering IUI would be thrilled to know whether their treatment will end up in success or failure. However, you will have to wait for several days to learn whether you are pregnant or not. If you have been pregnant before, then you might know what it feels like to be pregnant. Several symptoms indicate your pregnancy, be it natural conception or via IUI. There can also be symptoms indicating that the procedure went ineffective. Therefore, understanding the symptoms is very important.
In case you are new to the term IUI, it is Intrauterine insemination (IUI), an fertility treatment method that helps couples conceive. It involves the collection of sperm and its direct insertion into the uterus with the help of a catheter. The process is usually performed during ovulation to increase the chances of pregnancy. While IUI can be effective for a group of women, it can also not guarantee fruitful results for everyone. So, how can you know that the IUI has failed?
Symptoms of Failed IUI
When your IUI procedure fails, you will either not get pregnant or your pregnancy will not last any longer. A spontaneous abortion may be caused due to chromosomal abnormalities and this defect may be because of the low-quality sperm or egg.
In this article, we are going to discuss the common symptoms of failed IUI, and they are as follows;
- Excessive Bleeding- Even though spotting is a positive pregnancy symptom because it indicates implantation, excessive bleeding can be dangerous to both mom and baby. Blood on your pants isn’t an indication of implantation. Instead, it’s an indication of abortion or miscarriage.
- Major Cramping- Some women experience mild cramping throughout their pregnancy period. In most cases, it’s negligible, but it might mean there’s something wrong with IUI.
- Menstruation- If you are still menstruating after IUI, it means that you are not pregnant and the treatment was a complete failure. This is why women wait until their due date to confirm their pregnancy.
- Lack of Physical Changes- Pregnant women’s breasts will be more sensitive, and sometimes they’ll swell. Oftentimes, there will be bloating. If you have not experienced any of these changes, it might be a symptom of failed IUI.
These are a few of the common symptoms of failed IUI. But what are the potential causes of the failure? Let us learn about this in the coming section.
Why Does IUI Treatment Fail?
The reason for IUI failure is not common for everyone. It differs from person to person because every couple responds differently to it.
The following are the common causes of IUI failure:
1. Age of the Women
Fertility reduces with age and women in their late 30s or 40s are certainly less fertile than women in their 20s or early 30s. IUI is less likely to bring any positive outcome in women over 40. Therefore, this type of treatment is not recommended for aged women. At least, the doctors do not suggest IUI treatment before they suggest any other procedures.
2. Abnormal Endometrial Lining
If the endometrial lining is abnormal, then the chances of miscarriage or implantation failures increase. Therefore, doctors often conduct ultrasound or hysteroscopy to analyze the thickness of the endometrial lining to ensure whether it is ready to implant or not.
3. Poor Quality Eggs
The quality of the eggs is an important factor in determining the success of IUI. compromised egg quality can lead to miscarriage or abnormal embryo development. Hence, doctors carry out tests like ultrasound monitoring and ovarian reserve testing to evaluate the quality of eggs.
4. Ovarian Reserve
The number of eggs left in the ovaries of women is commonly referred to as ovarian reserve. There should be a sufficient amount of egg soft in the ovaries, otherwise, the chances of conception decrease, thereby decreasing the success of IUI treatment. A doctor will usually recommend tests like ovarian reserve testing and ultrasound monitoring to figure out how many eggs each ovary has.
5. Poor Sperm Quality
If the male partner has poor sperm quality, it ends up in failed IUI treatment. The quality of the embryo is seriously affected by the quality of the sperm. If it’s compromised, you won’t be able to conceive or you’ll miscarry. It’s therefore necessary to do a semen analysis before getting IUI.
6. Mistake of the Doctor
The sperm is supposed to be introduced to the women’s womb within 24 hours of ovulation. This is only possible if the doctors can predict the timing of ovulation. It’s possible to predict ovulation at home with ovulation prediction kits, but ultrasound monitoring at the fertility clinic is better. Only expert doctors can complete the procedure to perfection. Hence, if the doctor lacks knowledge, the IUI procedure might end up in failure.
7. Lowered Levels of Progesterone
Progesterone is a pregnancy hormone responsible for the maintenance of pregnancy. In case the amount of progesterone present in your body is less, doctors recommend a progesterone-inducing supplement to sustain the pregnancy. Otherwise, it might lead to failed IUI or miscarriage.
8. When IUI is Wrongly Recommended
IUI may not be an apt option for every case of infertility such as endometriosis, blocked or damaged fallopian tube, and infertility caused due to former medical conditions such as pelvic infections. In these cases, usually, doctors recommend alternative fertility treatments which may bring the desired results.
9. Unexplained Infertility
Infertility caused due to unknown reasons is commonly referred to as unexplained infertility. Patients with unexplained fertility should be considering other forms of fertility treatments before giving IUI a chance. Because, often time, IUI leads to failure in such instances.
Read More:- After IUI, How To Confirm Pregnancy?
What is the Next Best Option After Unsuccessful IUI Cycles?
If you had failed IUI cycles in the past, the next best option would be IVF (In Vitro Fertilization). It involves collecting sperm from semen to fertilize the eggs retrieved from the ovaries. Once fertilization is over, the best embryo is chosen to transfer into the uterus. The procedure takes around 3 weeks to complete, but sometimes it can take longer when the steps are split into several sessions.
IVF’s success rate is way greater than IUI’s, so you can go for the option when IUI fails.
Infertility treatments like IUI may not always be successful. There is an array of factors such as the quality of egg and sperm, ovarian reserve, age of the women, progesterone levels, and others that affect the success rate of IUI. IUI can also be ineffective for those who are struggling with infertility caused by conditions such as endometriosis, pelvic infections, and damaged or blocked fallopian tubes. Therefore, make sure you consult a well-experienced doctor who is confident to bring the wanted outcome.