IUI or Intrauterine insemination is the process of placing the sperm directly into the uterus at the time of ovulation. In natural conception the sperm travels naturally from the vagina through the cervix into the uterus right up to the fallopian tube. IUI is a simple process in which the sperm is placed extremely close to the egg to make the fertilization easy.
How does this process work
Before the procedure a pre IUI diagnosis is done to check the overall health and fertility of the patient. Hormone levels are also assessed and the uterus is checked to see if the chances of pregnancy are good.
The first step is the administration of fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation and the monitoring if the ovulation cycle. Monitoring will confirm if healthy eggs are being produced.
The sperm sample can be taken from the partner or from the donor. The sample is washed and prepared for the insemination.
The doctor then places the washed sperm close to the egg so that the fertilization occurs without any problems.
Who can benefit from IUI
IUI is a non-invasive and a comparatively lesser expensive procedure than IVF. IUI can also be tried before going to an IVF process.
IUI is performed in the following scenarios:
- Erection and ejaculation issues
- Single mothers who wish to have their own child using a donor sperm.
- Low sperm count
- Mild endometriosis
- Unexplained infertility
- Cervix or cervical mucus issues
Risks involved during IUI
The risks involved in IUI are low. Sterile procedures are used by the doctors and embryologists so there are no chances of catching an active infection. During ovulation induction in IUI if medications are used to stimulate the ovaries, there are chances of multiple egg release which in turn also increases the chances of multiple pregnancies. Over responsive ovaries after induction end up releasing multiple eggs which may result in Ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome in which ovaries are swollen and abdominal pain starts to occur.
Success rates of IUI
Success rates of IUI depend upon a number of factors. If IUI is performed every month without fail the success rates can be as high as 20% per patient depending upon the age of the female, infertility drugs used and reason of infertility. IUI is said to be a less invasive and less expensive process than IVF but then the success rates of IUI are also much lower than IVF. Usually couples try IUI before opting in for an IVF treatment as they hope to be successful using IUI. In case of failed IUI couples go in for an IVF treatment.