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Intra Uterine Insemination(IUI)

What is intrauterine insemination (IUI) and how does it work?

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a laboratory procedure where fast moving sperms are separated from more sluggish or non-moving sperms. The fast moving sperms are then placed into the woman's womb at the time of ovulation (when egg is released) . 

What are the indications of IUI?
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Ovulation problems
  • Male partner experiences impotence or premature ejaculation

  • What are the pre-requisites for IUI?
  • At least one patent fallopian tube assessed by laparoscopy / HSG / Hysterosonogram.
  • No significant problem with the sperms (numbers or quality or shapes).
  • Normal uterine cavity evaluated by hysteroscopy / saline sonography / HSG

  • What are IUI options?
  • IUI with or without fertility drugs / injections (clomiphene / gonadotrophins) – as IUI can be given with or without fertility drugs to boost egg production.  

How does IUI work?

  • For Women:
    • Step 1. Women not using fertility drugs IUI is done based on their ovulation. It can be done follicular tracking vaginal ultrasound or ovulation predictor kits usually between day 12 and day 16 of the monthly cycle
      OR
    • Women using fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation, developments of eggs are monitored by vaginal ultrasound scans. As soon as an egg is mature, trigger (hormone) injection given to release the egg.
    • Step 2. The sperms are inserted 36 to 40 hours later, by the doctor through the vaginal speculum (a special instrument that keeps your vaginal walls apart).
    • A small catheter (a soft, flexible tube) is then threaded into the womb via your cervix. The best quality sperm are selected and inserted through the catheter
    • The whole process takes just a few minutes and is usually a painless procedure but some women may experience a temporary, menstrual-like cramp.
  • For Men
    • Step 1. Men will be asked to produce a sperm sample on the day the treatment takes place by masturbation.
    • Step 2. The sperms are washed to remove the fluid surrounding them and the rapidly moving sperm separated out
    • Step 3. The rapidly moving sperm are placed in a small catheter (tube) to be inserted into the womb.
What are the chances of success from intrauterine insemination (IUI)?
  • It is difficult to assess success rates for intrauterine insemination (IUI) because success depends upon the cause of infertility and whether fertility drugs are used to stimulate egg production
  • It is around 15% for women aged under 35.
What are the risks of IUI?
  • Intrauterine insemination (IUI) itself is normally quite straightforward and safe.
  • The risks are associated with the fertility drugs that are used with this treatment which are allergic reactions etc.,
  • Multiple pregnancies and Hyperstimulation in stimulated cycles.
  • The use of ultrasound scanning before ovulation means that if there are more than two mature egg follicles present, the cycle can be abandoned
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