Intrauterine insemination, in short, is artificial insemination and is one of the first choices to treat infertility. In this procedure, washed and concentrated sperm is directly placed in the uterus around the time of ovulation. During ovulation, the ovary releases one or more eggs to be fertilized. The main guiding principle in IUI is that the sperm swims into the fallopian tubes and fertilizes the waiting egg. The result is pregnancy. However, administering IUI as the choice for treating infertility depends on the cause.
When should you consider IUI?
A couple chooses IUI for many different factors. Intrauterine insemination is suggested for couples under the following conditions:-
- Usage of donor sperm: If women need to use donor sperm to get pregnant, then IUI is suggested to achieve pregnancy. In such conditions, a sample of frozen donor sperm is obtained from certified labs and thawed before the IUI procedure.
- Unexplained infertility. If the cause of infertility cannot be determined, then IUI, along with ovulation-inducing medications, is the natural choice for achieving pregnancy.
- Endometriosis-related infertility. If endometriosis is one of the causes of Infertility, using medications to obtain a good-quality egg along with performing IUI is often the first treatment approach.
- Mild male factor infertility (subfertility). Suppose the male’s semen shows below-average sperm concentration, weak movement (motility) of sperm, or abnormalities in sperm size and shape (morphology).
- Ovulatory factor infertility. IUI is performed when women have ovulation issues, including an absence or a reduced number of eggs.
What is the preparation before an IUI?
- Semen sample preparation- the male partner, can provide a semen sample at the fertility center laboratory, or a vial of frozen donor sperm is used. When frozen semen sample is used, then they are thawed and prepared. The sperm is washed away to remove any allergy-causing elements from the female. The washing process also separates the highly active, normal sperm from lower-quality sperm and other elements. Using a small, highly concentrated sample of healthy sperm increases the chances of pregnancy.
- Monitor your ovulation- IUI is administered when women are ovulating, so it should be timed. A typical treatment cycle begins with an ultrasound and blood work on the third day of the menstrual cycle. Oral medications taken between days three and seven or between days five and nine of your cycle. A transvaginal ultrasound will be performed on day 10 or 11 to check for egg development. If oral medications are unsuccessful, injectable medications such as a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) are typically the next step. Your doctor may use ultrasound and bloodwork to monitor the development of follicles. Once the lead follicle/s measure at least 16 to 18 millimeters in diameter, you will be instructed to take an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which triggers ovulation.
- Figuring out the optimal timing- IUI is not immediately done after ovulation starts. A gap of one or two days is taken, and your doctor or another care provider will have a plan for the timing of your procedure and what to expect.
- Tests – Similar to IVF, IUI also has blood testing involved. The tests are done to test for hormones regulating your ovarian reserve and genetic blood work to determine whether you’re a carrier for any particular disease.
- The couple should abstain from sex for 2 or 3 days before the procedure.
- Check for your ovulation regularly since IUI is done a couple of days after the ovulation.
Checklist for an IUI
- Arrange an appointment to complete consent forms
- Get your ultrasound and blood tests done, as mentioned above.
- On the first day of your period, call for an appointment.
- After the IUI is successfully administered, do a pregnancy test 2 weeks after the procedure.
We at ZIVA Fertility centers are thorough with our procedures. We educate our clients about all the do’s and dont’s during consultations. We are your trusted partners in this journey. We will also help you in keeping abreast with your appointments. Please visit our website https://zivafertility.com/ or contact us at +91-9100002737 or +91-9392834024 Info@zivafertility.com to know more.