What is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) ?
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), also known as artificial insemination (AI), is the process of inserting processed semen containing motile sperms around the time of ovulation into the uterine cavity through the cervix.
Artificial insemination assists in fertilization by boosting the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes, where the egg is fertilized. It improves the chances of fertilization, but it doesn't guarantee that all of the extra sperm will fertilize the egg.
For couples experiencing unexplained infertility or male factor infertility, IUI is typically the first line of treatment. Patients with a slight to moderate decrease in sperm count and/or motility, as well as minor endometriosis are also advised to undergo IUI. Ovulation induction may be coupled with IUI for women who do not ovulate on a regular basis. IUI may also be recommended for some couples who are experiencing infertility for no obvious reason (unexplained infertility).
Am I a good Candidate?
IUI is recommended in couples when:
- Sperm count is low.
- Sperm motility is reduced.
- Problems with ejaculation
- Infertility is not explainable
- Cervical mucus issues that make it harder for sperm to survive
- Cervical scar tissue that prevents sperm from entering the uterus
- The woman has mild endometriosis or needs donor sperm.
How is IUI done?
- Semen collection & processing
- Injection of the sperm
Ovulation stimulants are prescribed by the doctor to aid in the development of numerous eggs.
Semen sample is taken and processed to concentrate the sperms into a small volume. Prior to the treatment, the male partner must refrain from ejaculating for at least three days in order to increase the sperm count.
The highly motile, processed sperms are placed in the uterus using a catheter. The sperm injection is timed to coincide with ovulation, which is usually 24-36 hours following the LH hormone surge. To avoid the stress of anticipating ovulation at a specific time, your doctor may recommend an HCG trigger injection.
What is the Recovery after IUI like?
IUI is comparable to a pap smear, and if done properly, there should be no discomfort. After resting for 30-60 minutes, you will be able to return home the same day.
What Results Can I Expect from IUI?
Several factors influence your odds of success with artificial insemination, including:
- Cause of Infertility
- Age of the lady
- Use of reproductive medications
According to the American Pregnancy Association, if you try IUI every month, your chances of getting pregnant can be as high as 20% per cycle. However, this is only true if all other conditions are favorable.