The latest advancements in the field of fertility have been a godsend that makes the dream of parenthood a reality for many desperate childless couples. Intra Uterine Inseminationis one such procedure and often the first line of infertility management. IUI is a relatively simple procedure that bypasses the cervix and places sperm into a woman’s uterus around the time of ovulation. By this technique, there is a better chance that more sperm will make their way closer to the egg, for the ‘magic’ to happen.
Before performing an IUI fertility enhancing drugs may be used to induce ovulation. It is important to carefully monitor for signs of ovulation. This can be done at home with the help of ovulation kits or at the doctor’s office by performing a transvaginal ultrasound. Once the semen sample is received it is thoroughly washed to weed out the weaker ones and remove certain proteins that may cause an allergic reaction and inhibit pregnancy. IUI is performed by inserting a thin catheter through the woman’s cervix and injecting properly washed and concentrated sperm into the uterus around the time of ovulation. You are made to lie down on an exam table as you normally do for a pelvic exam. A speculum is first inserted into the vagina to keep the vaginal walls apart and the washed sperm sample is inserted into your uterus. After an IUI, you may rest for a short time before going home.
Intrauterine insemination is ideal for couples who face the following issues
- The male partner has a borderline low sperm count or low motility
- The male partner experiences premature ejaculation or impotence
- The male partner suffers from retrograde ejaculation
- The female partner experiences ovulation problems
- The male partner has antibodies in his sperm
- The female partner has a history of pelvic infections
- The female partner encounters cervical mucus problems
- The female partner has minimal or mild endometriosis
- The female partner experiences allergic reactions to her partner’s semen
- Unexplained infertility problems
Eligible candidates include
- Women generally in good health who have had trouble conceiving naturally for at least a year
- Women who have healthy pelvis, as well as fallopian tubes that are open and healthy
- Couples who cannot afford the more expensive alternatives such as in-vitro fertilization
- Women who are no older than their mid-thirties
- Couples with realistic expectations about the success rates and potential risks that go with the treatment
The Risks Involved
The fertility boosting drugs prescribed to increase the chances of IUI success can result in hyperstimulation of the ovaries. This can lead to complications like nausea, vomiting, enlarged ovaries, hot flushes, breast tenderness and abdominal pain and swelling. With stimulated IUI, you also run a risk of multiple pregnancy.
Precision in timing and coordination of the treatment procedure substantially increases the odds of pregnancy success. Yes, a complex sequence of events must work in perfect synchrony for a successful pregnancy to occur.
If you are intending to take up this procedure feel free to ask your doctor any questions you may have. IUI is truly an effective, simple, safe and virtually pain-free way of conceiving a child. It is indeed an option you should be open to. Whether your pregnancy was meticulously planned, medically coaxed, or happened by surprise, it is a beautiful phase in your life. It is an amazing journey and the feeling of carrying a little soul inside you is simply magnificent.