- by Motherhood Hospital
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- Mar 10 2017
What is IUI-Intrauterine Insemination
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves a procedure wherein highly-mobile sperms are separated from slow-moving sperms in the laboratory and these sperms are injected into a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. The advantage of IUI is that it oers a better chance of fertilization as only the best sperms reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently the egg. IUI is more eective when timed perfectly within the ovulation cycle.
When is IUI Offered?
One of the most common factors for suggesting IUI is a low sperm count or decreased sperm mobility. But there are other reasons for undergoing this treatment.
IUI is specifically helpful for couples with unexplained infertility or if there is male factor infertility. It is also oered to people who have tried ovulation induction, which means ovulation stimulation with medications, and have also tried treatment to increase production of eggs through drugs, and have failed to achieve success. This procedure can be oered to any infertile couple
and has a 10-15 per cent added benefit compared to other procedures.
Other factors include cervical conditions in women, premature ejaculation and inability to have intercourse because of disability or injury. Single women who would like to become pregnant can also opt for IUI through donated sperms.
Benefits of IUI
1. It is the most common assisted conception treatments used when the cause for infertility is unknown. It is a less invasive procedure compared to In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) or ICSI and is also less expensive.
2. There is minimal discomfort in IUI procedure and the side-eects and risks are very few.
3. There is no need for extra bed rest and the woman can carry on with daily activities normally following the procedure.
4. IUI has 10 to 15 per cent added benefits when compared to other fertility treatment procedures.
Risk Factors Involved
There are minimal risks involved in this procedure which is largely safe and secure for all couples. In some women, there might be allergic reaction to the medication given but this is very rare. Some may have mild discomfort or cramps-like pain after the procedure, which may not last for long. There is also a small chance of the woman becoming pregnant with twins or triplets with IUI treatment.
The couple is first counselled by the consultant doctor and explained about the treatment. Then both the man and woman are screened for any other conditions that might be present apart from the infertility problem.
The fallopian tubes are tested for normal functioning because if the tubes are blocked or have any other problem, the fertilization cannot happen and the treatment will not work. Before starting the insemination process, the woman is given ovulation stimulating medications, so that the eggs develop to an acceptable quality. After this the cycle is monitored carefully through scans and tests to find out when the eggs are mature and ready to receive the sperms. Once the eggs are mature, a hormone injection, HCG is given
to facilitate release of the eggs.
After a waiting period of 36 to 48 hours, the sperm is injected directly into the woman’s uterus. Before that, a sperm sample is taken from the man on the day of the treatment. In the laboratory, the semen sample is washed and the fast-moving sperms are separated
from the slower ones. The sperms with high mobility and motility are then inserted into the uterus through the cervix by using a catheter (a tube-like apparatus).
The IUI process itself takes very little time and is not painful. In some women, there may be slight pain in the lower abdomen or cramping but this will soon go away. After this, the couple has to come for a consultation after two weeks, if the woman has missed her periods. The doctor may also prescribe luteal support for the pregnancy in the form of progesterone. When compared to other assisted conception treatments such as IVF ad ICSI, IUI is less complicated, apart from the cost factor. That is why IUI is oered in
the initial stages of fertility treatment while IVF is almost the last resort, when nothing else seems to work.
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