Fertility Treatments

IUI

Intrauterine Insemination, IUI is a procedure in which sperm is implanted into a woman’s uterus during ovulation to increase her chances of becoming pregnant.

What Is IUI?

Intrauterine insemination or IUI is a medical procedure in which the doctor places washed and good quality semen into the uterus of a woman stimulated with hormones. The doctor advises IUI treatment in case of a young woman with no history of any fertility treatment with or without male factor.

Intrauterine insemination procedure is conducted in concurrence with ovulation-stimulating medications. The doctor will either use the husband’s or a donor’s sperm. But before the start of this procedure, the doctor will conduct some tests to see if the woman is suffering from any hormonal imbalance, infection or any other physiological medical conditions. The doctor may prescribe some fertility medications to stimulate ovulation. 

IUI is a simple and unsophisticated medical procedure to increase the chances of fertility. It is also cheaper than most other fertility procedures. It is considered to be excellent at increasing the chances of pregnancy.

How Does IUI Work?

In the IUI procedure, semen is placed into a woman’s uterus during ovulation which increases her chances of pregnancy. 

First, sperm is collected from either the husband or a donor. If the insemination is being performed with the husband, the sperm will be produced by the male partner either at home or at the clinic itself (by way of masturbation), which is then prepared for the procedure. Next, the sperm is processed through a wash to clean out the toxins and collected in a concentrated volume.

The separation is performed to select and concentrate the most motile sperm into a small volume.

 The doctor will predict ovulation either by ultrasound or with the help of a urine or blood test. During ovulation, the doctor passes a catheter tube through the speculum to the woman’s uterus for the deposition of semen. The woman will become pregnant when the egg implants on the uterus lining if it is  fertilised with the sperm. 

 The IUI procedure will be explained to you in great detail during the initial consultation with the doctor. But if they don’t explain, you may want to ask as many questions about the treatment as possible. It will help you weigh in the options and make an informed decision.

Why Is It Done?

The primary reason behind opting for intrauterine insemination is the woman not being able to get pregnant. However, there may be several reasons behind this issue:

  • Unexplained or obscure infertility: If the doctors diagnose obscure or unexplained infertility, they may suggest IUI and ovulation medications as the initial treatment. 

 

  • Mild male factor infertility: During an analysis of the husband’s semen (one of the initial steps in the infertility assessment), the doctor may spot an issue like low  sperm count, weak motility of the sperm or abnormal sperm morphology (shape and size). IUI may help the patient with some of these issues, as the doctor separates the high-quality, highly motile sperm from the lower-quality ones, instantly increasing the chances of fertility. 

 

  • Donor sperm: If a woman chooses to go for donor sperm to become a mother, the doctor may suggest IUI, as it is one of the most common techniques for pregnancy through donor sperm. Frozen sperm is taken from a certified  lab and gradually warmed for IUI. 

 

  • Cervical factor infertility: A cervix at the end of your uterus provides an opening between your uterus and vagina. The cervix produces mucus during ovulation, providing sperm with an ideal environment for the sperm cells to go from the vagina to the fallopian tubes. But it shouldn’t be too thick. Otherwise, the sperm’s journey will be hindered. A biopsy may cause the cervix to have scarring, causing problems during fertilisation. But IUI bypasses the cervix and places the sperm cells directly into the uterus, increasing the probability of pregnancy. 

 

  • Semen allergy: The woman may be suffering from an allergy to the proteins present in the semen. So the ejaculation into the vagina may result in a burning sensation, along with swelling and redness after the contact. A condom may help you prevent this issue, but it will also prevent pregnancy. Since proteins are removed from the sperm, IUI may be considered to be effective. 

 

  • Endometriosis-related infertility: IUI is usually the initial approach in case the patient has endometriosis.

 

  • Ovulatory factor infertility: IUI will also be the initial approach if the patient has problems related to ovulation . 

You may talk to your doctor for more information on whether the intrauterine insemination technique is a suitable option for you.

What are the associated risks?

Although intrauterine insemination is considered quite safe, it may have some complications like any other medical procedure. The complications are as follows: 

  • Spotting: Sometimes, the patient may experience vaginal bleeding when the doctor places a catheter inside the uterus. Although it may cause spotting and bleeding, it won’t affect the chances of pregnancy.
  • Infection: There is a rare  chance that the patient may experience infection during IUI. 
  • Multiple pregnancies: The chances of multiple pregnancies may increase when IUI is combined with ovulation medications. When the woman gives birth to multiple babies (twins, triplets or more), the risk of lower birth weight, premature birth, etc., increases. 

 

These are just a few potential complications that affect the patient during or after intrauterine insemination. But the doctor will tell you about these issues during the consultation itself.

How do you prepare for an IUI?

There are three significant components of the preparatory procedure for the IUI:

  • Semen sample preparation: The husband’s or a donor’s semen sample will first be gradually warmed up for the preparation. Then the sample will be washed to clean out any toxins that may  interfere with the fertilisation process. The process will also separate and concentrate the high-quality and highly motile sperm and, in turn, significantly increase the chances of pregnancy.
  • Ovulation monitoring: The timing in the case of intrauterine insemination is extremely crucial. So the ovulation in a woman is constantly monitored to ensure that she is ready for the IUI process at the right time. For the same, the doctor will monitor the situation by visualising the ovaries and egg growth through an ultrasound. The doctor may also inject an ovulation medication to stimulate the ovulation process. 
  • Timing optimization: After the doctor has determined that the woman is ovulating, they will perform the IUI within a day or two. They will map out a plan to initiate the treatment procedure and provide you with a vague idea about what to expect. 

 

The doctor will provide you with adequate information about how the preparation and IUI process will happen at the initial consultation.

What can you expect from an IUI treatment?

Your visit to the doctor’s clinic for IUI will be approximately 15 to 20 minutes. But the IUI procedure itself will only take a couple of minutes. Moreover, you won’t require any pain relievers and other medications afterwards. 

  • During the IUI procedure

First , you will be asked to lie down on the examination table with your feet placed in the stirrups. Then, similar to the Pap test, a speculum will be inserted into your vagina. During the IUI procedure:

  • A vial of healthy sperm will be attached to the catheter.
  • Then, a catheter is inserted into the uterus through the cervical opening. 
  • After that, the sperm sample will be pushed through the catheter tube. 
  • To end the procedure, the doctor will take out the catheter and speculum from the vagina. 

 

  • After The Procedure

After the sperm is inseminated, the doctor will ask you to lie on your back for a short while. Afterwards, you can get dressed again and return to your daily routine. You may experience minor spotting for a few days after the procedure which is not a matter to worry

Chances of pregnancy with IUI treatment:-

Chances of IUI treatment ranges from 12% to 18% depending on patients age and history. A doctor may suggest a maximum of 3 IUI cycles before suggesting you for an IVF treatment if he is confident that IUI can be one of the treatment options in your case otherwise he may even consider directly suggesting you for an IVF-ICSI treatment.

Results

  • If you miss your period, you may conduct a home urine pregnancy test and if it turns out positive you may visit your doctor one week after such a positive result. If you get your periods, you may visit your doctor on day 2 or 3 of your periods to discuss the next plan of treatment.
  • After the IUI procedure you can resume all routine activities except lifting weights or doing any strenuous activity. You can climb stairs, drive vehicles, travel long or short distances via any means of transport, sleep on your stomach or go for light walks. You may avoid physical relationships after an IUI procedure until the result day.
  • Please avoid eating outside food to minimize the risk of falling sick.
  • If you get mild spotting or bleeding do not consider it to be a negative sign. This is normal.

 

The doctor may ask you to come back to the clinic for a blood test, as it will provide you with better results after the IUI procedure. In addition, the doctor may recommend trying this technique again before moving on to a different approach.

Please consult the Fertility experts at Siya Health, or call our Siya Fertility Counsellor today, if you are looking for more information about intrauterine insemination.

Meet Our Fertility Specialists

Dr. Dipesh Sorathiya

M.S. (Obs & Gyn)
DIP. in Gynec Endoscopy (CICE)

Here’s how we created an impact in our patient’s lives

Why Choose Siya Health

We are a network of Most Trusted Fertility Specialists and together we have delivered 10,000 successful IVF pregnancies.

With partner clinics and hospitals across the country, we can help you have build your family wherever you live and whenever you are ready.

India’s Top Fertility Specialists

Advanced ART Labs

Decades of experience

Medical Loan with EMIs

Book Your Consultation

With Gujarat’s Top-Rated Fertility Doctor