It is the process of placing processed semen sample containing motile sperms through the cervix into the uterine cavity around the time of ovulation.
Whom does it help
IUI is generally the first line of treatment when medication and timed intercourse does not succeed. It is recommended for patients with mild to moderate decrease in sperm count and /or motility, or if there is mild endometriosis. For women who do not ovulate regularly, ovulation induction maybe combined with IUI. Also, in some couples in whom there is no apparent cause for infertility (unexplained infertility), IUI may be advised.
What are the requirements before IUI?
- Confirmation that you are ovulating, either with or without medications.
- Patent tubes.
- A normal or mild to moderately decreased sperm count.
You will generally be advised medications (oral tablets and/or Gonadotropin injections) from Day 2 or 3 of your menses for 5 – 10 days. Your response will be monitored by sonography every 3-4 days.
When the follicle/s are of appropriate size, the final process of ovulation will be triggered with an injection of hCG and the IUI procedure will be planned approximately 36 hours later.
Your partner needs to provide his semen sample on the day of an IUI. If a problem is anticipated, previously preserved sample can also be used. The semen sample is processed in the laboratory and then injected into the uterus.
You may then be given medications for support for the next 14 days at the end of which a serum Beta-hCG test is done to confirm pregnancy.
Since this is a relatively simple and safe procedure, it does not require any special precautions. Only a few minutes rest after the procedure and then you can resume your routine.
Apart from mild pain and spotting on the day of an IUI, there are no major complications. Around five to ten percent of the patients have multiple [generally twin] pregnancies. Sometimes, a patient may respond excessively to medications and produce more eggs, putting her at risk for multiple pregnancies and a condition called Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS). If there is a risk of this occurring, your doctor will advise you accordingly and the cycle may be cancelled or converted to an IVF cycle. Infection is a very rare complication.
What are the chances of success
Worldwide, the success rates for IUI average about 15%. Around 80% of the pregnancies occur within the first three IUI cycles. We generally recommend a maximum of three IUI cycles.