Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is artificial insemination that helps couples realize their dream of having a baby. Washed and concentrated sperm is directly placed in the female partner’s uterus around the time of ovulation. If timed well, it should result in fertilization, and pregnancy carries out the natural course.
When is IUI opted?
There are many causes of fertility. The same ART (Artificial Reproduction Technique) is not used for all of them. IUI is most suited in cases of:
- Using donor sperm:- If a woman has to use donor sperm to get pregnant, IUI is most commonly used to achieve pregnancy. A woman can freeze sperm from a certified and authorized lab. At ZIVA fertility center, we thaw the sperm before using it.
- Unexplained infertility: When the cause of infertility cannot be narrowed down, then IUI is the first treatment of choice. IUI is done in these cases because it is simple and relatively cost-effective.
- Endometriosis-related Infertility: When women face endometriosis, medication is given to get good-quality eggs. To fertilize these eggs, IUI is done so that the chances of pregnancy are higher.
- Subfertility (Mild male factor infertility): The initial infertility assessment is done by performing semen analysis. If the tests indicate a below-average sperm concentration, weak movement (motility) of sperm, or abnormalities in sperm size and shape (morphology), then IUI is suggested. Since the sperm is processed in the lab, the procedure helps separate highly motile, normal sperm from those of lower quality. The highly motile sperm are inserted via IUI, resulting in higher chances of pregnancy.
- Infertility due to Cervical factor: The cervix, at the lower end of the uterus, provides the opening between the vagina and uterus. Around the time of ovulation, the cervix produces mucus, which creates an ideal environment for sperm to travel from your vagina to the fallopian tubes. In some women, the cervical mucus is too thick, which impedes the sperm’s journey. The cervix itself might be obstructing the sperm from reaching the egg. Any previous procedures such as biopsy may cause scarring wherein the cervix thickens. In IUI, the cervix is bypassed, and the sperm is deposited into your uterus.
- Ovulatory factor infertility: If women have ovulation issues such as the absence of ovulation or a reduced number of eggs, IUI may be performed.
- Semen allergy: If the female is allergic to semen, then ejaculation into the vagina causes redness, burning, and swelling where the semen contacts the skin. A condom is used as protection, but that will prevent pregnancy. In such cases, IUI works since many allergy-causing proteins are removed while thawing the sperm before insertion.
Risks with IUI
Amongst the various ART’s Intrauterine insemination is a relatively simple and safe procedure with few risks, which include:
- Infection: Slight infection after the procedure.
- Spotting: Since a catheter is placed in the uterus, it may cause a small amount of vaginal bleeding. The spotting does not affect the impending pregnancy.
- Multiple pregnancies. IUI, combined with ovulation-inducing medications, has a risk of multiple pregnancies. Multiple pregnancies are risky due to early labor and low birth weight.
IUI Procedure Preparation
- Preparation of the semen sample: The male partner’s semen sample or a vial of frozen donor sperm is thawed and prepared. In the washing process, the non-sperm elements in semen are removed as they can cause reactions in the woman’s body that interfere with fertilization. Only the highly active, normal sperm is retained. A small, highly concentrated sample of healthy sperm increases the likelihood of achieving pregnancy.
- Ovulation induction and monitoring: the sperm has to be inserted during the ovulation period, so you can use an at-home urine ovulation predictor kit that detects when your body produces a surge or release of luteinizing hormone (LH). Sometimes human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) injections or medications are given to make you ovulate one or more eggs at the right time. The IUI procedure is carried out one or two days after detecting ovulation.
IUI Procedure Implementation
- On the day of the IUI, you lie on the exam table with your legs on the stirrups at the clinic. Our specialist will insert a speculum into the vagina.
- A vial of healthy sperm is attached to the end of a long, thin, flexible tube (catheter). The catheter is inserted into the vagina, through the cervical opening and into the uterus, and the sperm sample is pushed through the tube into the uterus.
- After the sample has been deposited, the catheter is removed, followed by the speculum.
Post IUI procedure
You are advised to lie on your back for a brief period. Afterwards, you can get dressed and do your usual daily activities. You might experience spotting for a day or two after the procedure.
When to take the pregnancy test after an IUI?
We advise you to wait for at least two weeks before taking home pregnancy test. If you take the test too early, you could either get a false positive or a false negative.
- False-negative: There might not be sufficient pregnancy hormones, so the test might show negative when, in fact, you are pregnant.
- False-positive: Upon using ovulation-inducing medication such as HCG, that medication will still be circulating in your body, and it could indicate a pregnancy when you aren’t pregnant.
We at ZIVA fertility center, we suggest you to return in about two weeks for a blood test, which gives much better results than an at-home kit. If it does not work out on the first try, please IUI again before moving on to other fertility treatments. It is recommended that the same therapy is used for three to six months to maximize the chances of pregnancy.
For any other information regarding the IUI procedure or other ARTs, please get in touch with ZIVA fertility center at +91-9100002737, +91-9392834024, Info@zivafertility.com or visit our website https://zivafertility.com/.