Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a type of artificial insemination procedure wherein sperms are injected into the uterus. The procedure can be used for many kinds of fertility problems.
In this procedure, the female is prescribed fertility drugs and ovulation cycle is monitored, sperm sample from partner or donor is washed and prepared for the insemination. The timing of insemination is monitored and performed just before ovulation for the success of the procedure.
Reasons for IUI
The procedure can be used for many kinds of fertility problems:
- A woman's immune system may be rejecting her partner's sperm.
- Women having cervix problems – such as cervical scarring, cervical blockage from endometriosis, or unreceptive cervical mucus. This procedure lets the sperm skip the cervical mucus entirely.
- In cases involving male infertility, when very low sperm count or when sperm aren't strong enough to swim through the cervix and up into the fallopian tubes.
- In case of a single woman or a lesbian couple wish to have a biological child.
- A couple where one person is transgender may also use donor sperm to become pregnant.
Diagnostic Tests for IUI
- Hormonal studies
- Laparoscopy, HSG
- Before the Intrauterine insemination procedure, a fertility specialist consults and examines both the partners
- The couple is assessed for fertility, determining the motility, number, and viability of the male's sperm and female's ovulation and check to see if uterus can support a pregnancy.
- Ovulation medication is prescribed and monitored with ultrasound and/or blood testing. This monitoring helps your doctor determine the best timing for the injection of the sperm.
- If male factor infertility issues are suspected before IUI, your partner will need a full male fertility evaluation. During this evaluation, a doctor will check semen for sperm count and motility.
- If the sperm count is low, the doctor may ask to give several semen samples. Before giving a semen sample advised abstinence from ejaculation for 2-3 days. This will maximize sperm count, and help ensure that his sperm is healthy and mobile.
The doctor will inject the sperm into the uterus at the optimal time for conception. IUI is performed just before ovulation.
- You will lie down on the exam table as you normally do for a pelvic exam.
- Your doctor will insert a very small, thin and flexible catheter into your cervix.
- The washed sperm sample is injected right into your uterus. Injecting the prepared sperm into your uterus is quick and virtually painless.
- May have cramping during the procedure and light bleeding afterward.
- Doctors recommend patients lie down at least 15 – 30 minutes after the procedure.
- Patients are advised to reduce their aerobic activity and heavy lifting during this time period.
- The progesterone levels are checked a week after ovulation. Ultrasound is performed to observe uterine lining, the thickness of which gives some clues as to whether the IUI procedure was effective.
- If the procedure is successful, the woman will conceive and carry a baby to term in the normal manner.
Factors affecting the Cost of IUI
The cost to the patient depends on a variety of factors like:
- The hospital patient chooses
- Fees for the doctor
- Cost of Tests and diagnostics
- Cost of the number of cycles of IUI
- Cost of follow-up care