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IUI – Intra Uterine Insemination

Intrauterine Insemination, commonly known as IUI, is one of the assisted methods of conception in which concentrated and washed sperm are placed directly inside the uterus around the time when the ovary releases eggs to be fertilized. The cycle is monitored through regular ultrasound scans.Intra-Uterine Insemination is found to be effective after several natural attempts. It is also recommended in case of low sperm motility.

Why it’s Done

An Intrauterine Insemination is recommended if fertilization of eggs is found to be a challenge.

IUI is recommended under the following circumstances

  1. Unexplained infertility
  2. Endometriosis
  3. Abnormalities in sperm motility & morphology
  4. Ovulation problems
  5. Semen allergy
  6. Donor sperm

Before the actual procedure, the following tests are recommended.

Men: the sperm count, the motility and sperm quality

Women: the general health of fallopian tubes, patency of tubes, cervical issues, and presence of anti-sperm antibodies are tested

What to expect?

The IUI procedure is a short and simple procedure that may take  15-20 minutes. It should be kept in mind that the time for fertilization to take place lasts just a little more than 12 hours from the release of the egg. Hence,the menstrual cycle is regularly tracked and observed to maximize the chance of fertilization. This is monitored with the help of scans, blood tests, and basal body temperature. The Colour and texture of the vaginal mucus are also observed and recorded. During the procedure, generally, drugs that help create a stimulated cycle may be used to improve the chances of fertilization.

If the sperm is got from a sperm bank, it will have to be thawed before conducting the procedure. After careful tracking and monitoring of the cycle, the doctor introduces semen into the woman’s vagina during the ovulation time. The doctor may recommend and insert the sperms twice in the same cycle to increase the chances of fertilization.

The sperm needs to be processed and concentrated before being injected into the uterus as otherwise, it might be rejected by the female body and expelled as a foreign body. In order to increase the chances of fertilization, you might be asked to lie down for 15 minutes after the procedure.

Post Procedure guidelines

It is recommended that patients do not take up any heavy lifting activities for a while after IUI treatment to increase chances of implantation. Implantation takes place 6-12 days after a timed IUI. Again the results can be checked with a pregnancy kit or a blood test. Yet, the patients need to know that the rate of success for a woman below 35 is 10 to 20 percent. It is usually tried for 3 to 4 cycles before moving on to other methods.

What Are the Risks?

Intrauterine Insemination is a simple fertility treatment and does not include any surgery, discomfort or pain. This procedure may involve some risks and minor side effects.

Spotting

Spotting may occur since a catheter is inserted in the uterus. It is just mild vaginal bleeding that does not have any adverse effect on chances of conception.

Multiple Pregnancy

IUI is not commonly linked to multiple pregnancies though the chances can increase due to the use of ovulation-stimulation medication.

Infection

Care needs to be taken to avoid infection during the procedure as there are chances of the cervix getting injured if not performed by an experienced fertility specialist. This might cause bleeding or spotting, which could lead to infection.

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