Intrauterine insemination infertility treatment is referred to as the process of placing prepared sperm into the uterus. It is the process of separating and cleansing of sperm for the removal of dead, non-motile and toxic sperms from which only healthy and fast sperm are extracted which have higher chances of fertilizing the egg present inside. The prepared sperm are placed inside the uterus of a woman while she is ovulating. This is done with the help of a catheter. IUI infertility treatment is very simple as compared to IVF- invitro fertilization, as in IUI the process is similar to that of the natural process.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) — a type of artificial insemination — is a procedure for treating infertility. Sperm that have been washed and concentrated are placed directly in your uterus around the time your ovary releases one or more eggs to be fertilized. Older types of artificial insemination placed the sperm in the vagina. While this was easier, it was not as successful as the current procedure.
The hoped-for outcome of intrauterine insemination is for the sperm to swim into the fallopian tube and fertilize a waiting egg, resulting in a normal pregnancy. Depending on the reasons for infertility, IUI can be coordinated with your normal cycle or with fertility medications.
A couple's ability to become pregnant depends on many different factors. Intrauterine insemination is used most often in couples who have:
Donor sperm. For women who need to use donor sperm to get pregnant, IUI is most commonly used to achieve pregnancy. Frozen donor sperm specimens are obtained from certified labs and thawed before the IUI procedure.
Unexplained infertility. IUI is often performed as a first treatment for unexplained infertility along with ovulation-inducing medications.
Endometriosis-related infertility. Like unexplained infertility, the combination of medications to obtain the best egg and IUI is the first treatment.
Mild male factor infertility (subfertility). Your partner's semen analysis, one of the first steps in the medical assessment of infertility, may show below-average sperm concentration, weak movement (motility) of sperm, or abnormalities in sperm size and shape (morphology). IUI can overcome some of these problems because preparing sperm for the procedure helps separate the highly motile, normal sperm from those of lower quality. This works best if the sperm have only one abnormality, such as only a motility problem.
Cervical factor infertility. Your cervix is at the lower end of the uterus and provides the opening between your vagina and uterus. The mucus produced by the cervix around the time of ovulation is supposed to provide an ideal environment for sperm to travel from your vagina to the fallopian tubes. However, if the cervical mucus is too thick, it may impede the sperm's journey. IUI bypasses the cervix, depositing sperm directly into your uterus and increasing the number of sperm available to meet the awaiting egg.
Semen allergy. Rarely, women have an allergy to proteins in their partner's semen, so ejaculation into the vagina causes redness, burning and swelling where the semen has contacted the skin. A condom can protect you from the symptoms, but it also prevents pregnancy. If your sensitivity is severe, IUI can be effective, since many of the semen proteins are removed before the sperm is inserted.
Intrauterine insemination is a relatively simple and safe procedure, and the risk of serious complications is low. Risks include:
Infection. Studies indicate that fewer than 1 percent of women experience infection as a result of the procedure.
Spotting. Sometimes the process of placing the catheter in the uterus can cause a small amount of vaginal bleeding. This does not usually have an effect on the chance of pregnancy.
Multiple pregnancy. IUI itself is not associated with an increased risk of a multiple pregnancy — twins, triplets or more. However, 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.
1.Stimulate Egg Growth: The woman begins taking oral or injectable medication to stimulate the growth and maturation of her eggs. The injections are just beneath the skin (subcutaneous) and recommended in an area of the body with fat, such your stomach or the top of the thigh. Oral medication is taken for 5 days and injectable medication is usually taken for 8-12 days based on how the ovaries respond.
Ultrasound & Blood Monitoring: While on injectable medication, brief ultrasound appointments are needed every 2-3 days to monitor the ovaries and egg development. Blood tests are also completed to assess hormone levels related to egg growth and ovarian function. Through this testing and monitoring, we ensure everything is progressing safely.
2.Ovulation Induced: Once a “ripe” egg is present, a patient receives a “trigger shot” that causes ovulation within about 36 hours. The shot is given by a nurse at the clinic or self-administered at home.Sperm Sample Processed: The male partner provides a sperm sample or a donor sperm sample is thawed, then processed by the laboratory. During preparation, the sperm sample is “washed” to remove debris, immobile sperm and substances in semen that could cause severe cramping and the sperm cells are highly concentrated into a small volume.
3.Insemination Procedure: Just like a routine pelvic exam, a woman lies on an exam table. The sperm sample is injected into the uterus through a thin, long, flexible catheter. The entire process is virtually painless and takes seconds to complete. Getting up shortly after the procedure will not impact chances of pregnancy. On some occasions, insemination will be recommended two days in a row, but in most cases, a single well-timed insemination is all that is needed in each cycle.
4.Follow-Up: A week after ovulation, progesterone levels are often tested. For some patients, additional hormone support (such as progesterone) may be suggested to help prepare the uterine lining for pregnancy. Progesterone support is often used for women with recurrent miscarriage.
Additional Testing: About two weeks after insemination, follow up blood testing determines if pregnancy has resulted.