IUI (Natural or Medicated)

IUI (Natural or Medicated)

IUI or Inuterine Insemination will be an option for various reasons.

  1. If a woman doesn’t have a partner or her partner is also female, an IUI can be done to impregnate her.
  2. If there is borderline male factor infertility and there is reason to worry about motility (In this specific technique, the sperm is placed very close to the egg so that it does not have to swim very far).
  3. If a woman doesn’t have enough cervical mucus to transport the sperm up towards the fallopian tubes.

What Can You Expect?

The experience may differ slightly from clinic to clinic as each one follows their own protocols and procedures. It is always best to ask your doctor what to expect when you begin your IUI journey as well as each woman/couple will have a different experience based on a few different factors.

Before IUI, you may take fertility medicines that help make your eggs mature and ready to be fertilized. Your doctor will do the insemination procedure during ovulation (when your ovaries release an egg). Sometimes you’ll be given hormones that trigger ovulation. They’ll figure out exactly when you’re ovulating and ready for the procedure to maximize your chances of getting pregnant.

Your partner or donor collects a semen sample at home or in the doctor’s office. The sperm are prepared for insemination through a process called “sperm washing” that pulls out a concentrated amount of healthy sperm. Sperm washing also helps get rid of chemicals in the semen that can cause reactions in your uterus and make it harder to get pregnant. If you’re using donor sperm from a sperm bank, the sperm bank generally sends the doctor’s office sperm that’s already “washed” and ready for IUI.

During the IUI procedure, the doctor slides a thin, flexible tube through your cervix into your uterus. They use a small syringe to insert the sperm through the tube directly into your uterus. Pregnancy happens if sperm fertilizes an egg, and the fertilized egg implants in the lining of your uterus.

The insemination procedure is done at your doctor’s office or at a fertility clinic, and it only takes about 5-10 minutes. It’s pretty quick, and you don’t need anesthesia. IUI is usually not painful, but some people experience mild cramping.
Once again, each & every experience may differ slightly from one another. There are plenty of forums online where women & couples share their stories which may be insightful to have a look at.

Problems That May Arise and Ways To Handle Them

Intrauterine insemination is a relatively simple and safe procedure, and the risk of serious complications is low.

Low risks may include:

Infection – There’s a slight risk of developing an infection as a result of the procedure.

Spotting – Sometimes the process of placing the catheter in the uterus causes a small amount of vaginal bleeding. This doesn’t usually have an effect on the chance of pregnancy.

Multiple pregnancy – IUI itself isn’t associated with an increased risk of a multiple pregnancy — twins, triplets or more. But, when coordinated with ovulation-inducing medications, the risk of a multiple pregnancy increases significantly. A multiple pregnancy has higher risks than a single pregnancy does, including early labor and low birth weight.

One word of advice is that medicated cycles should be very closely monitored. Blood draws and sonograms should help determine the proper time to conduct the IUI. No one should take follicle stimulating drugs without monitoring.

Unsurprisingly, IU’Is have a lower success rate than IVF. The rate varies from clinic to clinic and also varies due to other factors such as age or the number of follicles. The decision to try IUI should be made in conjunction with your doctor. On one hand, the lower success rate may mean that it’s not worth the time and money to try it before IVF. On the other hand, IUI is much less expensive and much less invasive. From another perspective, some religions that do not permit IVF do accept IUI.