Intra-uterine insemination (or IUI) treatment is one of the most effective forms of artificial insemination methods and a popular infertility treatment technique. This process involves placing a healthy sperm inside the woman’s uterus to allow for natural insemination and fertilization.
The main aim of the IUI treatment is to increase the number of sperm inside the woman’s vagina so that maximum number of sperms can reach the fallopian tubes and eventually result in pregnancy.
Need for IUI Treatment
Women who have tried natural insemination methods, as well as other artificial insemination methods, unsuccessfully to conceive a child are ideally considered to undergo an IUI treatment.
This treatment is required if:
- Tests show no recognizable cause for a couple’s infertility
- A man suffers from retrograde ejaculation and their sperm gets discharged inside the urinary bladder instead of out of the penis, this sperm may be collected to be used for IUI treatment
- A man’s sperm count is negligible, poor quality or low in quantity, the doctor may recommend that you undergo an ICSI (intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection)
- There seems to be a problem with the woman’s cervix from before the surgery which prevents the sperm from traveling through it to the uterus
- A woman wishes to have a child without a male partner
IUI Treatment procedure
An IUI is advised only after the doctor has ensured that your fallopian tubes are healthy and open through a tubal patency test during your assessment by the fertility clinic.
It may require to be performed using a laparoscope, in which a dye is injected through the cervix while the pelvis is checked for blockages using a laparoscope camera.
The procedure for women is performed usually within 12-16 days of your monthly ovulation cycle if she is not using any kind of fertility drugs for additional treatment. In case she is using fertility drugs as part of a separate treatment to stimulate ovulation, the doctor might use vaginal ultrasound scans to detect the development of your eggs. When your egg is ready for insemination the doctor will use a hormone injection to release it.
The sperm is injected around 36-40 hours later. This procedure requires using a speculum to keep the vagina expanded while the doctor inserts a small catheter into the womb through the cervix. The doctor will select the best-quality sperm and use it for insemination.
This is a faster process and is completed within a few minutes and is normally painless. This is done as an outpatient procedure and the patient is allowed to leave for home within a couple of hours after the surgery.
Risks with IUI Treatment
The main risk a woman might face after an insemination combined with super-ovulation is of multiple pregnancies. This is a high-risk situation for both, the mother and the child.
This procedure faces a slight risk of infection from the surgical tools which is very rare.
Severe cramping may be felt during the insemination.
Slight risk of puncturing the uterus during the insemination process is there.
There is also a rare risk of congenital (birth) defects in babies conceived by some artificial insemination methods.
Advantages of IUI Treatment
IUI (intra-uternie insemination) treatment is a highly-successful procedure for inducing pregnancy in problematic cases of infertility in couples. The woman’s advancing age decreases the chances of pregnancy in an inversely proportionate manner – the older the woman, the less are the chances of getting pregnant.
This procedure is very helpful for those couples who are suffering from unexplained infertility by increasing the chances of insemination.
If the male partner is suffering from absence of sperm (impotency), low quality sperm or poor quality sperm then this insemination procedure can help improve the female partner’s chances of getting pregnant successfully.