What to expect from IUI treatment?
Infertility conditions make a woman and her family lose their peace and isolate them from society with social stigmas. But thanks to the advancements in the technology there are now various medical treatments that have helped the parents to conceive and get the blessing of children. Among such several fertility treatments, IUI treatment is popular a technology, affordable, and often advised by the obstetrician. Let us discuss the IUI and its expectations in brief here.
What is called an IUI?
This is the acronym for intrauterine insemination. In this fertility procedure, sperms are inserted directly into the uterus. The main objective of this procedure is to increase the number of sperms that can reach to the fallopian tube of the female. When the number of sperm increases in the fallopian tube the chances of the fertilization increases. The procedures involve the segregation of the high-quality sperms from the low-quality sperms or the non-moving sperms. The high quality sperms are then injected into the womb which then ensures that all the high-quality sperms are moving towards the fallopian tube. This increases the chances of fertilization. This minimally invasive procedure weighs a high success rate.
Who can choose IUI?
- Women with unknown causes of infertility
- Male partners with dysfunctional ejaculation or minor semen abnormalities
- Women who fail to ovulate in cases of PCOS, hypothalamic, cervical, or uterine abnormalities, and endometriosis
- Male partners with a frozen sperm condition
- Single women who try to conceive
What happens during IUI?
In this outpatient, less invasive procedure, healthy and motile sperms are separated from a male partner. They are inserted directly into the female partner’s uterus using a catheter. After this procedure, rest is essential. During this time, the sperm fertilises the egg, and the embryo starts to implant on the uterine wall. In case the uterine wall fails to produce enough hormones for implantation, the doctor will advise the patient to increase her hormone production to sustain her pregnancy.
After IUI, the patient is advised to lie down for at least 30 minutes to avoid severe cramps and mild pain in her abdomen. The patient will be discharged on the same day. The doctor may advise her to take progesterone supplements. As the medication may trouble the patient with increased body temperature, nausea, and weakened muscles, she should be cared for meticulously by her carer.
Generally, implantation happens 6–12 days after a successful IUI treatment. As one of the first signs of implantation, a woman may experience menstrual spots or a menstrual delay. However, it will take at least 10-14 days for the placenta to produce HCG. As a result, it is recommended that you wait at least two weeks before confirming your pregnancy.
What should be avoided after IUI?
Following the IUI, that woman can engage in all regular activities, avoiding certain ones to increase her chances of pregnancy:
- Do not drink alcohol and do not smoke
- Do not engage in sex until your doctor advises you to
- Do not take OTC medicines
- Do not bend
- Do not lift, push, or pull weights
- Do not go for trips for at least a week after IUI
- To alleviate hormonal imbalances, avoid anxiety and stress
A woman’s IUI success rate is determined by the following factors:
- Age: Younger couples will have better eggs and sperms.
- TMSC: The total motile sperm count for a man should be 20 million, which is sufficient for IUI
- Sperm: Sufficient sperm count; healthy morphology of sperms
- Follicle size: Mature follicles should be 20 mm
- Fallopian tubes: A woman with at least one healthy fallopian tube
- Clinic: The facility of a fertility clinic
- Doctor: The knowledge and experience of a doctor
- Medications: The dose and type of medications have a huge impact on the IUI treatment.
When a woman meets all the above criteria, she can expect an advanced success rate from her IUI.
How does IUI improve the chances of pregnancy?
Since the sperm is kept directly inside the uterus, the fertilisation site becomes closer. The IUI treatment bypasses many issues that happen in the cervix or vagina. It also improves the sperm’s delivery to the egg, especially when there is a low sperm count or sperms with partial movements. The chances of pregnancy are high with IUI, and a woman can likely know about her pregnancy within 2 weeks of the treatment. A missed period will be the first sign of pregnancy, and the same can be confirmed with a blood test.
This safe procedure may include some risks, including:
- Infection occurs in a few women as the treatment undergoes insertion
- Spotting may occur due to the insertion of the catheter into the vagina
- Since a woman is treated with hormone medications, multiple pregnancies may be expected, which might cause early labour and low birth weight in babies.
If a woman’s first IUI treatment attempt fails, she may be advised to undergo another IUI or other fertility treatments.
Modern fertilization techniques have evolved and have helped many couples to becomes parents. IUI is one such technique that has given numerous positive results. But the best option of the treatment could be decided by the health expert and proper consultation is essential for pregnancy planning.