We come across numerous stories about couples trying to conceive naturally. However, some need medical help, like an Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI) procedure that involves injecting the sperm directly into a woman’s uterine cavity at the time when she is releasing the egg. You can opt for this artificial insemination procedure with your partner’s sperms or sperms procured from another donor, in case your partner's sperm is not of suitable quality.
Understanding IUI procedure step-by-step
There can be many reasons for married couples being unable to conceive, one of which is male infertility. Doctors prescribe pregnancy by IUI procedure as the first logical step to treating mild endometriosis or mild male infertility issues. Other problems impeding the dream of achieving parenthood include poor cervical mucus, cervicitis, cervical scarring, etc. may prompt many couples to try this method of starting a family.
The best time for an IUI procedure is when a woman is at the peak of her ovulation cycle. They can also resort to other methods like trying out various ovulation cycle tracking kits designed to track the woman’s ovulation cycle effectively.
The IUI procedure essentially contains two important steps
● Medicines are given to the woman to stimulate egg production and growth.
● The sperm is then placed via an injection inside the uterine cavity. This relieves it from having to swim through the cervical opening into the uterus on its own, thus, easing the fertilization process.
While on medications, the women may have to undergo brief ultrasound appointments every two to three days to check for the development of eggs. The doctors, inject a ‘trigger shot’ into the female patient to promote maturation of the egg and ovulation within the next 36 hours.
Before the IUI procedure, the man is required to provide his semen sample an hour or two before the insemination process is scheduled. The man is given a sterile container for masturbation and collecting his semen sample into it at the doctor’s clinic or home. The semen is then washed to separate the sperm from the seminal fluid, lest the fluid Doctors recommend sperm washing to improve the ability of sperm during fertilization with the egg.
Women are required to undergo hormonal evaluation tests wherein hormone levels are checked and assessed for the presence of Anti-mullein hormone (AMH) and Follicle-stimulating Hormone (FSH). These hormonal tests reveal information about the egg supply and the efficacy of ovarian functioning in the woman.
Is the IUI procedure painful?
As opposed to the myth of the IUI procedure being painful, this artificial insemination process is relatively simple and easy. The fertility specialist places a speculum inside the vagina and then inserts a small catheter through the cervix into the uterine cavity of the female patient. The sperm is then injected through the catheter into the uterus. The process does not take more than a few minutes and does not cause any major discomfort to the woman patient.
This is the first choice of many couples planning parenthood, considering its non-invasive nature. Although the treatment is non-surgical, it will not be right for women with blocked fallopian tubes or men with extremely low sperm count.
What to do after the IUI procedure?
Post the sperm insemination process, the last step in the IUI procedure is to take up the pregnancy test to check for the IUI procedure success . The pregnancy test must be taken up at least 14 days after undergoing the procedure. In case of failure, the couple can approach the fertility specialist again to try out another time or opt for the in vitro fertilization method.
Road to successful parenthood
The number of infertility cases has gone up in the last many years. These may be due to women planning parenthood at a much later age or problems stemming from lifestyle habits like excessive drinking and smoking. These couples then seek medical help starting with the IUI procedure, to more complicated methods that take more money and time such as IVF.
We recommend them first the IUI procedure before we move on to other options. Most couples inclined to embrace and experience parenthood are ready to try out any method to have children. The IUI method is the least expensive and does not involve much inconvenience. A few checkups followed by appropriate treatment procedures customized to your needs can ensure success and happiness for couples facing fertility issues in their marital lives.
For more information, please get in touch with our expert doctors at ART Fertility Clinics.