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intrauterine insemination (iui)

Natural Cycle IUI

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Natural cycle IUI is an artificial insemination procedure in which no fertility drugs are used for ovary stimulation and for ovulation induction. The pregnancy is achieved with the help of naturally produced egg and hormones. In the process, womans cycle needs to be monitored constantly to determine the time of insemination.

If you and your partner are trying to conceive for a long time and have not been diagnosed with any fertility issues, then natural cycle IUI is an ideal choice. Sometimes, a couple might not have any fertility problems but still the couple may require fertility treatment due to unexplained infertility. In such cases, natural cycle IUI should be the first preferred choice in which no medicines are utilized for egg growth and ovulation induction. Women with regular menstrual cycles are the best candidates for natural cycle IUI. In natural cycle IUI, naturally produced egg and hormones are utilized to achieve pregnancy successfully. Natural cycle IUI is performed under constant monitoring to keep a closer watch on the time of ovulation. Let’s discuss in detail more about Natural cycle IUI procedure, monitoring, benefits and risks.

How to get prepared for Natural Cycle IUI?

Before starting the procedure of natural cycle IUI, there are certain things, which need to keep in mind to ensure the success of natural cycle IUI.

1. Track Ovulation: Tracking ovulation is the main step before undergoing IUI. Following steps are followed to ensure determination of the ovulation in a precise manner:

  • The woman who is undergoing natural cycle IUI is asked to keep a watch on her menstrual cycle from day one till the insemination procedure to determine ovulation.
  • Ovulation predictor kits can be used to check LH surge in the body and hence scheduling the insemination procedure.
  • Once the LH surge is noticed, the insemination procedure is scheduled in next 24- 36 hours. Sometimes, hCG trigger shot is given to induce ovulation. In this case, insemination is performed after 30-36 hours.
  • Sometimes, the doctor may also ask for ultrasound scans and blood tests to determine the approximate time of ovulation.

2. Good Diet: Start eating healthy foods to prepare your body well for the insemination procedure.

Good Diet

3. Start Exercising: Regular exercise increases blood flow to the various body parts including cervix and uterus.

4. Stop taking any other Medicines: If you are being on any medications, let your fertility doctor know about the same. Never go for the medicines, which might interact with your IUI procedure.

5. Try Yoga or Meditation: Undergoing IUI process can be stressful sometimes. So, it is better to manage your stress levels by involving in activities such as yoga and meditation. You can also join community groups for stress free life.

Procedure of Natural Cycle IUI

  • The woman’s cycle is constantly monitored to determine the time of insemination procedure. Once the day is finalized, the male partner submits the semen sample in the clinic on the day of insemination procedure.
  • The semen is washed properly in the laboratory and only the useful and motile sperms are kept for the procedure. The process of sperm washing prevents any kind of reactions or irritation, which can otherwise occur due to the presence of the semen in the uterus.
  • A small quantity of insemination fluid is prepared to suspend the washed sperms into it.
  • The doctor inserts a vaginal speculum inside the cervix and visualizes it to insert the insemination fluid.
  • The sperm specimen is inserted into the uterus with the help of a thin and flexible IUI catheter.
  • Once the procedure is completed, the doctor asks the patient to rest for around 15-20 minutes in the clinic. Then, the patient is discharged. The patient can resume back to the normal routine after the completion of procedure.

Natural cycle IUI Monitoring

Natural cycle IUI needs to be monitored to know the timing of insemination procedure beforehand. The doctor may follow various techniques to monitor the growth of mature follicle and the day of egg release.

  • Ovulation Predictor Kits: Ovulation Predictor kit or commonly known as OPKs are utilized to determine the elevation of LH hormone in the blood. Once the positive surge is noted on the OPK, insemination is scheduled after 24-36 hours.
  • Ultrasound Scans: Ultrasound scan is started from day 8 to check the size of dominant follicle. If the egg size reaches 18-20 mm, the insemination procedure is scheduled in the next 35 hours.

Ultrasound Scans

  • Blood Test: Blood tests are performed to check the levels of LH hormone and Estradiol hormone in the blood, which also help in determining the ovulation time.

When is Natural Cycle IUI is recommended?

Not everyone is eligible for natural cycle IUI. A couple with the below mentioned problems can be considered for natural cycle IUI but provided that the female partner has regular menstrual cycles.

1- Mild Male Factor Infertility

This is one of the prime reasons why natural cycle IUI procedure is recommended to the couples. Low semen count and poor sperm motility make it difficult for the sperms to fertilize the egg.

2- Sexual Dysfunction

Some males suffer from sexual dysfunction in which they are unable to ejaculate at the time of the vaginal intercourse. This makes it difficult for them to get their wife pregnant in a natural way.

3- Requirement of Donor Sperm

This happens when the sperm count of the partner is less than the desired number or the sperms do not have sufficient motility for the occurrence of successful pregnancy. This can also be the case when a single mother wants to be a parent.

Benefits of Natural Cycle IUI procedure

There are multiple benefits of natural cycle IUI procedure. Let’s discuss these benefits one by one in detail:

1. Reduced risk of multiple pregnancies: There are very lesser chances of multiple pregnancies during this procedure since no fertility drugs are administered for multiple eggs development. This also prevents the requirement of embryo reduction procedure.

2. No risk of ovarian hyper stimulation (OHSS): Fertility drugs utilized in most of the other assisted reproductive treatments such as medicated IUI, IVF cause the risk of ovarian hyper stimulation.  But in natural cycle IUI, there are no issues of ovarian hyper stimulation.

3. Cost effective: The cost of Natural Cycle IUI procedure is much less than that of the medicated IUI or IVF. Normal IUI cost can vary from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000. While natural IUI cost varies from Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 15,000.

4. Less invasive procedure: The procedure is less invasive than in vitro fertilization and medicated artificial insemination procedure.

Less invasive procedure

Cost of Natural cycle IUI

Natural cycle IUI cost includes the cost of doctor’s consultation, ultrasound scans and the insemination procedure. In India, it can vary from Rs. 8000 to Rs. 15,000 depending upon the clinic and the extent of monitoring required.

Success Rate of Natural cycle IUI

Success rate of natural cycle is very low and it decreases drastically with age. Success rate for natural IUI or un-stimulated IUI can vary from 4% to 10%. The percentage of success is more when the couple is young.

Drawbacks of Natural Cycle IUI procedure

The success rates of this procedure reduce with the age of the individuals. Woman above 35 years of age should not rely on natural cycle IUI. The success rate for natural cycle IUI has been observed very low. It is around 4-20% on an average across the world.

Learn more ways of monitoring IUI cycle to evaluate the growth and development of the egg.You can also call at +917899912611 for an instant appointment with IUI experts.

Dr. Chitwan Dubey

About The Author

Obstetrician, Gynecologist Dr. Chitwan Dubey
Mumbai

Dr. Chitwan Dubey is a leading Obstetrician and IUI Expert currently working at SevenHills Hospital in Andheri, East Mumbai. She has been practicing in the same field for over a decade and her areas of expertise are Endometriosis, Ectopic Pregnancies, Fibroids, Total Lap Hysterectomies, and Fertility Enhancing Diagnostic etc. She completed MBBS from Rant's Medical College in 2004 followed by MS in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from Mumbai University in 2006. Dr. Chitwan Dubey is an honoured member of Indian Medical Association (IMA). For contact details of Dr. Chitwan Dubey visit elawoman.com

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:

  1. All about menstrual cycle, menstruation cycle, period cycle menstrual cycles, Elawoman - 2017
  2. Drugs, monitoring, procedure for iui IUI procedure, Elawoman - 2017
  3. How to track ovulation with help of signs? Tracking ovulation, Elawoman - 2018
  4. Complete guide to pregnancy ultrasound ultrasound scans, Elawoman - 2018
  5. What are the functions of uterus? uterus, Elawoman - 2017
  6. Role of semen analysis in male infertility evaluation semen sample, Elawoman - 2018
  7. All you want to know about cervix and cervical position cervix, Elawoman - 2017
  8. How to use ovulation kit? Ovulation Predictor kit, Elawoman - 2017
  9. What is sperm motility? sperm motility, Elawoman - 2017
  10. How to increase sperm count and improve fertility sperm count, Elawoman - 2017

1 Comment

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Chandu Kamble

We were planning for Natural IUI cycle and while searching for the same, we came across this blog. Thanks for sharing such an informative post!

May 29, 2018, 2:43 p.m. 4.5

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