Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves the direct placement of sperm into a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. It is a less invasive and more affordable option compared to in vitro fertilization (IVF) and is often recommended for couples with specific fertility issues.
How is the female partner evaluated for IUI infertility treatment?
The female partner is tested for hormones and reproductive health by checking the following parameters:
a) Endometrial Thickness:During menstruation, the woman is checked for the thickness of the inner lining (Endometrium) of the Uterus. This is where the egg gets implanted post fertilisation.
b) Blood Test:It is done to check the right level of hormones in the woman’s body.
c) Ovulation cycle:The ovulation cycle of the woman is studied to see if the ovulation is healthy or not.
How is the male partner evaluated for IUI infertility treatment?
The male partner is checked for the following parameters:
(a) Sperm Count:The higher the sperm count, the higher the chances of conception are and vice-versa.
(b) Sperm Motility:The sperm should be motile to be able to reach the woman’s egg.
(c) Morphology of the Sperm:The sperm should be in good shape without any defects.
If the sperm count is less or the quality of sperms is not good, then you also have the option of using donor sperm sample.
Unexplained Infertility: When the cause of infertility cannot be determined through diagnostic tests.
Cervical Issues: If the woman’s cervical mucus poses a barrier to sperm motility.
Male Infertility: In cases of mild male factor infertility, where the sperm count, motility, or morphology may be slightly below normal.
Donor Sperm: Used in cases of single women, same-sex couples, or when male partners have no viable sperm.
Ejaculation Issues: When a male partner has difficulty ejaculating into the vagina during intercourse.
Ovulation Induction: In some cases, fertility medications such as Clomiphene or gonadotropins may be prescribed to stimulate the ovaries and increase the chances of ovulation. Ultrasound monitoring and blood tests help determine the optimal time for the procedure.
Semen Sample: The male partner provides a semen sample on the day of the IUI procedure. If donor sperm is used, it is prepared and thawed.
Sperm Preparation: The sperm sample is processed in the laboratory to separate healthy, motile sperm from other components. This concentrates the sperm and removes any debris.
Insemination: A thin, flexible catheter is used to introduce the prepared sperm directly into the woman’s uterus. This is a relatively painless and quick procedure performed in a medical setting.
Success rates for IUI vary depending on factors such as the cause of infertility, age of the woman, and the quality of sperm used. Generally, success rates range from 10% to 20% per cycle.
Throughout the treatment cycle, ultrasound and blood tests may be performed to monitor follicular development and hormone levels.
If pregnancy does not occur after several IUI cycles, the fertility specialist may recommend reevaluating the treatment plan, including considering alternative fertility treatments like IVF.
The chances of any medical complications arising during or after the procedure is very less. The birth defects are also very less as reported till date. The chances of catching an infection are also minimal as the process is short-lived and non-invasive.
However, there are increased chances of getting pregnant with twins, triplets or more because the woman is kept on fertility drugs which increases the number of eggs available to be fertilized.