Understanding IVF: What is IUI (Intrauterine Insemination)?

ARC International Fertility & Research Centre belongs to the best fertility clinic in India, therefore we asked their specialists to tell us why IVF treatments sometimes do not work.

IUI (Intrauterine Insemination, artificial insemination) is a fertility treatment that involves placing semen inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. Nowadays, people use this treatment while using donated sperm in their treatment, including single women and female couples.

Artificial insemination means that high-quality sperm is separated from sperm which is sluggish or non-moving. Later on, this sperm is injected directly into the womb. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chances of fertilization. The sperm sample used by IUI can be either from partner or donor (donor insemination).

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Who is the suitable candidate for IUI?

You should definitely keep in mind, that IUI tends to work best for people who do not suffer from fertility problems.

1) Couples aged under 30 y.

2) Marital life lasting less than 3 years

3) Female partner with adequate ovarian reserve and healthy fallopian tubes

4) Male partner with healthy semen (the semen analysis)

5) Male partner has erection trouble – erectile dysfunction (impotence)

6) The couple who don’t have troubles with Cervical Factor Infertility Causes

How long does IUI take?

It’s a simple procedure, whole IUI cycle takes only 2 weeks to complete.

How many times would I need to visit the IVF clinic?

After an initial consultation with all the basic evaluation including the HSG report, you may need three to four visits to complete the IUI procedure in total.

How will we prepare the patient for IUI?

Starting with the follicular scan on day 2 or day 3 of the menstrual cycle, interval scans will be done on alternate days from day 8 to day 12 to assess the adequate the growth of the follicles.

Aim of IUI

In a natural cycle, women will bear single follicle in a menstrual cycle. In an IUI cycle, we aim for at least 2-3 follicles to achieve success. Increase the number of sperm that reaches the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chances of fertilization.

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When will we do IUI?

We will plan trigger injection for ovulation once the follicle size touches 20-21mm. We will do two sets of IUI within 36 hrs of trigger injection.

How Intrauterine Insemination looks like?

  1. The fresh semen sample will be collected from the male partner.
  2. The sample will be processed to collect the adequate good quality motile sperms.
  3. The processed semen sample will be injected into the women uterus under ultrasound guidance.

Is IUI a painful procedure?

No, IUI is not a painful procedure. It is an outpatient procedure, so there is no need for the hospital stay.

Post IUI care

A) After IUI, the woman can behave completely normally and come back to her routine activities.

B) Since it’s a simple procedure, we do not advise to rest in bed or restrict any activity.

C) Couples are advised to continue their normal sexual life.

D) Our clinic supplements the couples with folic acid and progesterone post-IUI.

What is the success rate of IUI?

The success rate is around 15%

Why is success rate only 15%?

In IUI we are just enhancing the success rate of pregnancy by 15%, just by insemination the semen inside the uterus. Other than this fertilisation should occur as such in the natural pregnancy.

Is there any side effects after IUI?

No, there are no side effects after IUI.

How many times can I go for IUI?

You can attempt IUI three times.

Why only 3 attempts?

The success rate of IUI declines after failed three cycles, therefore we suggest to have IUI only three attempts. You can still consider other IVF treatments.

IUI conception Vs. IVF?

IUI pregnancy can be followed up like a natural pregnancy.  IUI allows the body to do more on its own than IVF and therefore it is the more natural way to conceive. On the other hand, it is less successful as IVF methods.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) means, that the eggs are removed from the body and fertilised in the lab. This means that IUI is a less invasive procedure. This treatment is also less expensive than IVF procedures – one cycle of IUI is cca. a quarter of the price of one IVF cycle.

Is it possible to have the vaginal delivery after IUI?

Yes, since it is considered and treated similarly like a normal conception pregnancy, they are allowed to have delivery vaginally.

Next visit

They can wait till one week from their expected due menstrual cycle and review for their pregnancy test.

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