The first step in treating infertility in many couples is intrauterine insemination therapy or IUI. This method is less invasive and cheaper than other therapies such as ectopic fertilization or IVF. In this procedure, the male sperm is inserted into the woman’s uterus with special tools. In this article, you will learn about IUI treatment and its steps.
Cases of IUI treatment Prescription
If the number or motility of male sperm is low, the IUI method can usually help the couple get pregnant. Low sperm motility means that sperm cannot reach the egg, and IUI can increase fertility by placing sperm in the uterus. Your doctor may also recommend using IUI in other cases. Here are some infertility cases that your doctor may prescribe for IUI treatment:
• Infertility for unknown reasons
• Abnormal cervix discharge
• Difficulty in ejaculating or completing a man’s erection
• intercourse transmitted diseases such as AIDS or hepatitis in any couple
• Female allergy to semen or male sperm
The IUI method is also used in cases where a man freezes his sperm before being treated for cancer and now intends to have children.
Steps to perform IUI
IUI requires ovulation, at least one open uterine tube, and a semen sample containing healthy sperm. Each IUI procedure is called a cycle, which includes the first day of menstruation to ovulation, insemination, and then a pregnancy test two weeks later. The IUI steps are usually as follows:
Ovarian production: The ovaries produce eggs in several ways. Your doctor may suggest an ovulation-free period in which fertility drugs are not used, or you may recommend taking fertility medication early in the menstrual cycle so that the ovaries produce more than one adult egg by stimulating the drug. Women’s ovaries usually release one egg each month.
Determining the time of ovulation: Insemination of sperm into the uterus must be done at a specific time than the time of ovulation. For this purpose, the doctor must be able to determine the time of ovulation. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe an injection of (hcg) injections to clear the egg at a specific time. Ovulation usually occurs 36 hours after the injection. Some doctors perform IUI 36 to 40 hours after (hcg) injection.
Sperm washing: On the day of the IUI operation, the man must give a sperm sample, which is given to the washing laboratory. This causes more resistant sperm to accumulate in a small amount of fluid.
Sperm inoculation: Your doctor transmits more resistant sperm through a narrow, long tube, or catheter, directly into the uterus through the cervix. This is usually painless, but some women experience mild muscle cramps after doing so. It only takes a few minutes for the sperm to enter the uterus.
Pregnancy test: About two weeks after the sperm is inserted into the uterus, a pregnancy test is performed.
IUI success rate
In men with infertility, it is easier to get pregnant with an IUI than just having intercourse (sex) with a schedule. Couples whose cause of infertility is unknown usually perform better with IUIs than with fertility drugs alone. This process causes fertilization to occur naturally in the body. The success rate of IUI is related to the infertility of the couple and their age.
Research has shown that in couples whose cause of infertility is unknown, the chances of success of any natural IUI period are about 4 to 5 percent, and if fertility drugs are used, the chances of getting pregnant increase to about 15 percent. Depending on the cause of infertility, three or four IUI courses may be performed for a woman before she becomes pregnant, after which the doctor may try other assisted reproductive techniques, such as IVF.
Disadvantages of IUI method
The use of ovarian-stimulating fertility drugs increases the likelihood of twinning or multiple pregnancies, and multiple pregnancies are considered high-risk pregnancies. If fertility drugs such as clomiphene citrate are used to increase ovulation before IUI, the chance of a twin pregnancy is about 10 percent, and if gonadotropins are used, the chance is about 30 percent. Consumption of gonadotropins increases the risk of mild form of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (ohss).
In this syndrome, the ovaries temporarily enlarge and fluid leaks into the abdomen. This syndrome can be annoying, but it usually goes away quickly without the need for treatment. In very few cases, taking this drug may cause the severe form of the syndrome that requires hospitalization.