IUI Procedure

IUI is an acronym for Intra Uterine Insemination. It is the most common infertility treatment carried out by an OB/ GYN or a RE. IUI is a procedure to prepare and deliver sperm directly into the uterus through the cervix. It is done for women with fertility issues like PCOS after they had undergone fertility medication that included drugs like Clomid, Femara, etc.

Certain testing is needed and is conducted before insemination begins to make sure that the female has a minimum of one mature follicle. And also to ensure that there is not any infectious diseases like HIV in the couples.
 There can be many reasons for infertility. They are the quality of sperm, the ability of sperm to reach the uterus, the ability of the sperm to implant itself in the uterus, sperm’s ability to fertilize the egg when they meet. Whatever be it, IUI treatment is useful in treating all these.
Male Factors taken into consideration are:
  • Low Sperm Count
  • Low sperm motility
  • Decreased quality of sperm
  • Disorders in Sperm function
  • Defect in Penis
  • Ejaculatory dysfunction
Female factors taken into consideration are:
  • Unreceptive or Scant mucus
  • Persistent cervicitis
  • Cervical stenosis
The procedure starts with collecting the semen of your husband.  This sample is put in “washing’ protocol. It is first washed and then brought to the room for examination. The doctor puts in a speculum. Then they insert an extremely flexible, thin catheter in the cervix using a sperm friendly lubricant such as PreSeed. The Sperm Washing actually separates sperm cells from semen that helps in removing the slow moving and dead sperms.  The Sperm Processing is explained below:
  • The sperm should be free of White Blood Cells, seminal fluid, debris etc.
  • There exist many methods of spermatozoa processing from ejaculate like buffered washing, swim up and Percoll gradient separation.
  • Seminal plasma holds prostaglandins that may cause little uterine cramping when directly injected into the uterus.
  • The processing method will be decided by your doctor before the time of insemination.
This washed sperm is injected into the uterus.  At least 2 hours is needed to arrange the sperm for insertion into the uterus. An exact timing of ovulation is important to achieve a pregnancy with IUI.
The methods used to determine the ovulation time can be BBT (Basal Body Temperature), ovulation predictor kits or follicular ultrasounds. It is performed within 24 hours following your HCG trigger injection that is given before ovulation, so that sperm is inside the uterus. This process is actually short.
IUI is not at all painful. You will only feel a minor cramping throughout and after the procedure. After this you will be asked to lie flat on a bed for about 20- 30minute. If the sperm count of your husband is good then you are advised to have sexual intercourse every other day during the fertile period because this increases the chance of conception.
The success rate is not high. But there are other factors that can push up the rate. It can be put between 5-10 % which is low in relative terms.
The risk factors involved for unexplained infertility are not life frightening.
Costs may vary considerably depending on the number of preparation and follow up treatments. The costs of IUI starts from $ 200.

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