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IUI- Intra Uterine Insemination

What is IUI?

IUI or Artificial Insemination (AI) is a procedure of placing processed semen sample containing most motile sperms of the male partner into the uterus cavity through the cervix of the female partner at the time of her ovulation.

Who are Treated with this Method?

IUI is generally done when Induction of Ovulation and timed intercourse does not succeed. It is recommended for males who have mild to moderate decrease in sperm count or motility while female partners are normal with patent fallopian tubes. Sometimes IUI may be combined with ovulation induction in female partners with mild endometriosis, or who do not ovulate regularly. Rarely IUI is offered to some couples who have no any apparent cause for infertility and are normal.

What are the Steps of Treatment?

First the female partner: She will be first confirmed for her patent fallopian tubes and status of her ovulation. Then she will generally be advised medications (tablets and / or injections gonadotropin) from day 2 or 3 of your menses for 7-10 days. The response will be monitored by pelvic ultrasound every 3-4 days and when the follicles are of appropriate size, the final ovulation will be triggered with an injection of hCG and subsequently the IUI procedure is planned which is approximately 36 hours later.

Male partner: The semen sample would be examined first. He then needs to provide his again provide his semen sample on the day of IUI which is then processed in the laboratory after which the semen sample are injected in the female partner’s uterus.

What are the Precautions after the Procedure?

It is a simple procedure and generally does not require any special precautions. However the doctor would advice rest for a few minutes after the procedure. In some cases medications for the next 14 days are given to support the procedure after which a serum beta-HCG test is done to confirm pregnancy.

What are the Complications in this Procedure?

Usually there are no major complications. But some patients may have mild pain with spotting on the day of IUI procedure which settles immediately. Infection is a very rare as the procedure is done in sterile conditions.

Rarely a patient has an excessive response to medications and produces many eggs which puts 5-10 percent patients at risk for multiple (generally twin) pregnancies. In an another condition of excessive response called Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS), the doctor would advise accordingly and the cycle may be cancelled or converted to an IVF cycle..

What are the Chances of Success?

Worldwide, the success rates for IUI average at around 10-20%. Generally younger patients have higher success rates while patients above 40 years have very low pregnancy rates. Studies have found success rates higher in the first three IUI tries and with any further trials of IUI there were significant drop in success rates due to which patients are generally recommended not more than three IUI cycles and then offered IVF procedure.