Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
What is IUI?
Why IUI for you?
You may be performed IUI in case:
- You want to get pregnant with donated sperm. And, the treatment procedure in that case will be called donor insemination
- You are unable or finding it difficult to copulate owing to a physical inability (read disability) or psycho-sexual issues.
- You are undergoing a condition wherein you require a precise help to get pregnant i.e. In case you’re an HIV positive man and have gone through sperm washing to lessen the hazard of passing on the virus to either your partner or the potential child.
Nonetheless, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), an organization that offers national advice and guidance for impoving overall health and social care in the United Kingdom in a press release issued on May 22, 2012 said that “New draft recommendations do not support the use of IUI in this group as it has been shown that couples are more likely to become pregnant if they continue to try to conceive for two years without medical intervention (80% chance they will become pregnant)”.
- If your treating doctors have advised IUI treatment, you may like to have a discussion with your doctors about the risks it would entail while using fertility medicines that are given for improving egg production. You are also advised to ask your doctors whether IUI treatment without the use of fertility drugs will be suitable to you.
- In cased IUI turns out to be unsuccessful, you are advised to discuss with your treating doctors the other procedures such as IVF.
How does IUI work?
Patency health tests
Before performing IUI, it is pertinent to ensure that your Fallopian Tubes are healthy and there is no blockage. This is usually checked by performing a tubal patency test, as a part of your evaluation by the fertility expert.
In case you are not keen on undergoing Laparoscopy, you may, instead, choose to go through hysterosalpingo-contrast sonography (HyCoSy). In this, a vaginal ultrasound is performed to know any blockages in the Fallopian Tubes. Or, you may undergo a hysterosalpingogram, Fallopian Tubes X-ray.
In case you have been advised not to use any kind of fertility drugs, IUI can be performed any day between Day 12 and Day 16 of your menstrual cycle. The first day of your periods is considered as Day one. Your blood and urine samples are taken to know when exactly you are expected to ovulate.
Or: If you are using fertility drugs to rouse ovulation, ultrasound scans of your your vagina are done periodically to follow your egg development. As your egg gets matured, you are injected gonadotropin, such as FSH and LH hormones, that help in stimulating the egg release. The sperm are popped in about 36–40 hours later.
Your treating doctor will first insert a speculum into your vagina, as is done in a smear test, to keep apart your vaginal walls. After that, a small catheter, a soft and flexible tube, will be strung into your uterus through your cervix. The healthiest and best-quality sperm will then be chosen to be inserted in the uterus with the help of the catheter.
The entire process is performed only in a few minutes and is generally painless. In case you feel menstrual-like cramping, it is temporary and you may be allowed to rest for a while before leaving the Clinic for home.
- You would be asked to give a semen sample for salvaging sperm on the day the IUI treatment begins.
- The sperm salvaged out of the semen sample will then be washed to eliminate the fluid adjoining them. The healthiest and fast-moving sperm will be sorted out from the slow-moving sperm.
- The fast-moving sperm will be put in a small catheter for inserting them into the womb.
- If case donor’s or frozen sperm using cryopreservation are being used, they will be taken out from the frozen store, thawed and readied in the same manner.