1 What is an Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?

A procedure for treating infertility is called intrauterine insemination (IUI), which is a type of artificial insemination. Around the time your ovary releases one or more eggs to be fertilized is the time sperm that has been washed and concentrated are placed directly in your uterus.

The older artificial insemination is easier, though it is not as successful as the current procedure and this is done by placing the sperm in the vagina.

Intrauterine insemination will result in pregnancy if the sperm will swim into the fallopian tube and fertilize a waiting egg. IUI can be coordinated with fertility medications or with your normal cycle depending on the reasons for infertility.

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2 Reasons for Procedure

Couples will need to undergo intrauterine insemination (IUI) for the following reasons:

  • Unexplained infertility along with ovulation-inducing medications.
  • Women who use frozen donor sperms to get pregnant.
  • Mild male factor infertility or subfertility – your partner may have abnormalities in sperm size and shape (morphology), below average sperm concentration or weak movement (motility) of sperm.
  • Endometriosis-related infertility.
  • Semen allergy – some women may have an allergy to proteins in the sperm of their partner leading to redness, burning and swelling in the vagina where the semen has contacted the skin.
  • Cervical factor infertility – if the cervical mucus is too thick it can slow down the sperm’s journey, IUI will bypass the cervix so the sperm will be deposited directly into your uterus.

3 Potential Risks

Some of the possible risks of complications of intrauterine insemination (IUI) include:

  • Spotting – in the process of replacing the catheter in the uterus causing a small amount of vaginal bleeding, though it will not affect the chance of pregnancy.
  • Infection as a result of the procedure in less than 1 percent of women.
  • Multiple pregnancies – this increases when IUI is coordinated with ovulation-inducing medications and can lead to low birth weight and early labor.

4 Preparing for your Procedure

In preparing for your intrauterine insemination (IUI), you must follow your doctor’s orders. Your doctor will ask a sample of semen from your partner or a vial of frozen donor sperm can be prepared.

The sample will be washed that separates the lower quality sperm and other elements from the highly active normal sperm because non-sperm elements in semen can cause reactions in the women’s body which can interfere with fertilization.

By using a small, highly concentrated sample of healthy sperm the chance of pregnancy increases. The signs of impending ovulation will be monitored. You can do this at home by an at-home urine ovulation predictor kit.

This kit can detect if you produce a surge. Your doctor will then suggest the use of transvaginal ultrasound to visualize your ovaries and egg growth. So you can ovulate one or more eggs, he may give you human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) as an injection.

A day or two after detecting ovulation, you can now undergo IUI.

5 What to Expect

Here’s what you can expect before, during, and after your intrauterine insemination.

IUI procedure does not need any pain relievers or medications and this will take up about a minute or two, but you will have to be in your doctor’s office for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

Your doctor will ask you to lie on an exam table with your legs in stirrups and he will insert a speculum into your vagina. He will then attach a vial to a catheter that contains the sample of a healthy sperm.

Through your cervical opening and into your uterus, he will insert the catheter into your vagina. The sperm will be pushed into your uterus through the tube. The catheter and speculum will be removed after.

Your doctor will instruct you to lie still on the table in a few minutes after the procedure. You may experience some light spotting for a day or two but you can go back to your normal activities.

6 Procedure Results

Understanding the results of your intrauterine insemination (IUI) will be made possible by your doctor.

Before taking at-home pregnancy test, wait for at least two weeks because if so test too early it can result to:

  • The false-negative result if you really are pregnant but your hormone levels are not yet at a measurable level.
  • False-positive when you are not pregnant but the HCG that you are using indicates that you are pregnant.

Your doctor will suggest blood test that is more sensitive in detecting pregnancy hormones after fertilization. You may try this procedure again if it did not work the first time. To maximize chances of pregnancy, the same therapy can be use for three to six months.

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