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intrauterine insemination (iui)

Everything You Need to Now About Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

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IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) is a process of artificially placing sperms into a womans uterus to assist pregnancy in cases of infertility. Understand IUI procedures for male infertility, female infertility, success rate, IUI and IVF costs, treatments and risks involved.

IUI or Intrauterine Insemination is a type of artificial reproductive treatment, in which sperms are placed into a woman’s uterus when she is ovulating. This process of infertility treatment is less invasive and cheaper than IVF. IUI is generally performed using the husband’s sperm or donor sperm. The sperms are placed in the uterus of the woman at close proximity to the egg, to encourage fertilization.

iui, iui procedure

IUI treatment may be recommended for any of the following situations:

1. Male Infertility

Male infertility is usually caused by problems that affect either sperm count or decreased motility. The sperm may not be enough or too weak to travel to the fallopian tube to fertilize the egg. It can be a result of unhealthy lifestyle, exposure to harmful substances, illnesses, natural problems, chronic health problems or injuries. About 90% of infertility issues in men are caused by low sperm count

2. Hostile Cervical Mucus

Hostile cervical mucus or infertile cervical mucus is one of the reasons for a woman not being able to conceive. It is needed for sperm to survive and swim, through cervical mucus, and travel from cervix to fallopian tubes. Hostile cervical mucus is when there are problems with vaginal secretions or vaginal dryness. This can be due to the use of birth control methods or hormonal imbalances. 

3. Unexplained infertility

When the cause of infertility is unknown, it is called unexplained infertility. It can be due to male infertility issues or female infertility problems or both.

4. When fertility drugs are not successful

Fertility drugs may help you conceive but they are not effective on everyone. IUI treatment is performed when medications and drugs fail to provide the right results. 

5. If a sperm donor is being used

If the male partner is not able to produce sperms or do not have the quality of sperms to conceive then sperms from a donor is used to fertilize the female egg. 

6. If sexual pain makes intercourse impossible

Some couples may face problems during sex. It may be the cause of male erections or extreme vaginal pain during sexual intercourse. This may prevent the couple to conceive through natural methods so the only way of fertilizing the egg could be through Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). 

IUI is not recommended for those with:

Some hospital and specialist recommend a few cycles of IUI before paying for IVF treatment.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) Procedure 

When undergoing through an IUI procedure, you can expect to go through the following three steps:

  • You may begin taking fertility drugs and your ovulation cycle will be monitored.
  • Your partner will provide a sperm sample (or you will obtain donor sperm) that will be specially washed and prepared for the insemination.
  • Your doctor will inject the prepared sperm into your uterus.

iui procedure

IUI Procedure for Male Infertility

During this evaluation, a doctor will check your partner’s semen for sperm count and motility. If the sperm count is low, the male partner is asked to give several semen samples. These samples are further prepared to improve sperm count. They are washed and treated to remove toxic chemicals. The healthy and motile sperms are selectively prepared to increase the success rate of the IUI procedure. The doctor may also advise to avoid ejaculation for 2-3 days to increase sperm count. 

IUI Procedure for Female Infertility

Before the procedure, the woman needs to visit the fertility specialist and do certain tests. These tests determine the patient’s health, hormone levels and the ability of the patient to support pregnancy. Next, the doctor may start giving you ovulation drugs to produce healthy eggs while regularly monitoring through ultrasound. 

Inserting sperm during IUI

The insertion of sperms during the IUI process takes a maximum of 1 to 2 hours. This is generally done when the luteinizing hormone (LH) surges before ovulation. The female partner lies down on the examination table as a very small, thin and flexible catheter is inserted into her cervix. The treated sperm sample is then injected inside the uterus in the fallopian tube. 

Following the IUI Procedure

About a week after, your doctor may have you come back to the office to check your progesterone levels. You may be prescribed progesterone hormone, after the IUI process to assist in pregnancy. Your doctor will observe your uterine lining with an ultrasound at this time. By checking the thickness of the uterus lining, your doctor may have some clues as to whether the IUI procedure was successful. The doctor may also take blood tests and examine the level of progesterone and estrogen. After 14 days, the doctor may again call you for pregnancy tests.

Success Rate of IUI

The IUI success rate can depend on the cause of infertility and age. With 3 to 6 cycles of IUI procedure or IUI treatment and artificial insemination, the success rate can go up to 80%. When IUI treatment fails after several tries the doctor will recommend you to go for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) or surrogacy, which is much effective. Though the success rate of IVF treatment is much higher, IUI treatment is easier to perform and less expensive.     

IUI Treatment Cost

Infertility treatments in India are also performed through medications and fertility drug use but the success rate is medical treatment is low. IUI treatments cost are higher than treatment through medication and offer a much higher success rate but it is not much as effective as IVF process.

IVF treatments costs are high but have a higher success rate of conceiving. The cost of treatment may also depend on the specialization of the doctor, the reputation of the hospital and also the region where you are being treated.

Risks in IUI Treatment

IUI is a low risk procedure but still have some small risk of infection. The use of fertility drugs during IUI treatment creates the biggest risks, especially if the doctor has prescribed Gonadotropins. The risk for developing Ovarian Hyper stimulation Syndrome (OHSS) and risk of conceiving multiples babies increases if you are taking Gonadotropins. The treatment is also canceled when there are too many follicles.

There are many reputed IVF and IUI treatment centers in India with highest success rates. Before going for a particular infertility clinic or doctor, make sure they are experienced and have the necessary knowledge to perform the treatment without complications. Also, read best IUI doctors in Lucknow to find out the best fertility hospitals located in Lucknow or simply contact us at +917899912611 to know more on the same.

Dr. Neha Gupta

About The Author

Infertility Specialist, IVF Specialist Dr. Neha Gupta
Gurgaon

Dr. Neha Gupta is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in Gurgaon. She has been practicing for many years now. Her rich experience in Normal Vaginal Delivery, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Hysterectomy and Tubectomy makes her the most preferred names in Gurgaon. She has acquired MBBS in 2004, DNB from National Board of Examinations in 2009 and MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology from Maulana Azad Medical College in 2009. She is a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London. Dr. Neha Gupta has an expertise in Intrauterine Insemination and is practicing at Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon. You can get the contact details of Dr. Neha Gupta at elawoman.com

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:

  1. Sperm donor iui donor sperm, Elawoman - 2018
  2. What are the functions of uterus? uterus, Elawoman - 2017
  3. Male infertility and its causes and treatments Male infertility, Elawoman - 2017
  4. How to boost male fertility and sperm count naturally low sperm count, Elawoman - 2017
  5. How to check cervical mucus naturally cervical mucus, Elawoman - 2017
  6. Types of birth control methods and its effectiveness birth control methods, Elawoman - 2017
  7. Causes, prevention and treatment of female infertility female infertility, Elawoman - 2018
  8. Intrauterine insemination may help you conceive IUI treatment, Elawoman - 2017
  9. Blocked fallopian tubes causes and treatment Blocked fallopian tubes, Elawoman - 2017
  10. Diet after ivf treatment IVF treatment, Elawoman - 2018

3 Comments

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Kunal Jolly

The way IUI treatment works looks so unreal like that long needle and externally supplied sperms.

Aug. 24, 2017, 3:33 p.m. 5.0

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Shrabani Saha

Yes it works. The healthiest sperms are inserted and chances are raised if the cycle is repeated twice or thrice. In fact, IUI treatment is proving to be a boon for all those couples who cannot conceive naturally.

Aug. 24, 2017, 3:32 p.m. 5.0

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Kate Doucet

Does this really work? I mean what are the chances one can really get pregnant by IUI treatment?

Aug. 24, 2017, 1:43 p.m. 4.5

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