Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is one of the oldest infertility treatments. In this process, good and high motility sperms are separated and they are carefully injected into the woman’s uterus through the cervix to help her achieve pregnancy. Today, many different infertility treatments have been developed, but IUI is the most suitable for couples where low sperm count or low motility is the main problem.
The infertility problems which indicate IUI treatment:
- Low sperm count-less than 15 million per milliliter
- Low motility-A defect in sperm because of which they cannot travel up to the egg to fertilize it in time
- Problems of ejaculation or erectile dysfunction
- Scarring of the cervical tissue of abnormalities in cervical mucous which block the pathway of the sperms to the uterus
The procedure of IUI and how does it work:
The necessary conditions for are:
- At least one fallopian tube to be open
- A healthy (washed) sperm sample
According to the standard procedure, the process involves the following steps:
- Egg production: The ovaries are made to produce eggs in two different ways at the beginning of the IUI The doctor can go for natural that is -“unstimulated” egg production. The other way is stimulating the ovaries for egg production by administering a fertility drug. This makes the woman produce several matured eggs in the cycle.
- Detecting the release of the egg from the ovary: Ovulation. A common method of detecting ovulation is by using an ovulation kit. When the egg is released from the ovary- when it bursts out from the ovarian follicle, the ovulation kit tells it by detecting the luteinizing hormone that is released during ovulation. The doctors can also figure out exact ovulation day with by doing an ultrasound. Insemination usually happens the next day.
- Extracting and washing the Sperm: A sperm sample is taken from the partner and it is “washed” meaning- chemicals are removed from it if they are present and this washing and preparation process also concentrates the sperm into a high volume. This high concentration sample contains highly mobile and healthiest sperms which help to increase the success rates of IUI.
- Insemination: The doctor injects the sperm sample into the uterus through the cervix with the use of a tubular device-a catheter. The process is quick and virtually Some doctors perform insemination twice in a day’s gap. This is done to increase the success rate of IUI.
- Following the IUI procedure: The doctor may call you back to the clinic within 2 weeks to check if the IUI procedure was successful or not. This is done by testing your progesterone levels. The doctors also do an ultrasound of the inner lining of the uterus to see how thick it is. It can give some clues if the pregnancy has been achieved.
What’s the success rate for IUI?
The success rates of IUI depend on the couple’s fertility problems and the age of both partners. According to research studies, it has been found that for couples with unexplained fertility the pregnancy rate for each natural cycle is around 4 to 5 percent and with the use of fertility drugs the pregnancy rate for each natural cycle is between 7 to 16 percent.
Why IUI is preferred: The pros of IUI
- Most couples go for it as the first step towards infertility treatment because it is less invasive and less expensive than other assisted reproductive technology treatments (ART) such as IVF.
- In case of couples where mail fertility is the problem this treatment proves to be
- Couples with unexplained fertility problems generally have better results with IUIthan with fertility drugs alone.
- This procedure allows fertilization to occur naturally inside your body.
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