Things You Should Know About IUI Treatment
IUI Treatment is a fertility treatment where sperm are placed directly into a women’s uterus, during the natural conception, the sperm travels from the vagina through the cervix, into the uterus and up the fallopian tube, when a couple is not able to conceive naturally they opt for an IUI treatment where sperm which is either washed or concentrated are placed directly into the uterus, which puts them closer to the egg, the process can increase the likelihood of getting pregnant, especially the couple who are having difficulty in getting pregnant.
Previously known as artificial insemination, it is a method used to get a person pregnant by placing sperm directly into the uterus of the woman where the egg has a higher chance of getting fertilised.
Why is IUI treatment used?
It is a non-invasive and affordable procedure used to get pregnant due to certain reasons such as:
- Unexplained infertility
This is when you don’t know the cause or any reason that caused infertility, it may be good or bad but you don’t know about the position.
- Low sperm count
It is the part of the fertility treatment where, it may tell about your partner’s sperm, whether it is small, weak, slow or oddly shaped, or he doesn’t have much sperm, IUI can help the problem because only high-quality sperm is selected and used for the treatment.
- Cervical mucus/problem with the cervix
Your cervix separates your vagina and uterus, mucus produced by your cervix helps sperm travel from your vagina through your uterus and to your fallopian tube, thick mucus can make it hard for the sperm to swim, with the IUI treatment the sperm directly goes into your uterus.
- Problems with ejaculation or erections
IUI treatment can be used when one partner can’t get or sustain an erection or isn’t able to ejaculate.
Scenarios where IUI is not effective
- Women with moderate to severe endometriosis
- Women who have both fallopian tubes removed or has both fallopian tubes blocked
- Women with severe fallopian tube disease
- Women who have multiple pelvic infections
- Men who produce no sperm ( unless the couple wishes to use a sperm donor)
How does the IUI treatment process work?
Before the IUI treatment procedure happens you should take fertility medication that stimulates ovulation, it is a very simple process of putting the sperm cells directly into the uterus around the time you’re ovulating, helping the sperm get closer to the eggs, this cuts down the time and distance sperm has to travel, making it easier to fertilize your egg.
semen is collected from your partner or the donor that you have selected and it goes into the process of sperm washing where a healthy amount of sperm is collected from the semen, and then your doctor puts the sperm right into your uterus, and pregnancy happens if the egg gets fertilised and the fertilised egg gets implanted into your uterus lining. It increases your chances of pregnancy but everybody’s body is different so there is no guarantee that IUI will work, but it is one of the best possible options you can take which helps you get pregnant when you’re having difficulty conceiving.
Factors that affect the success rate of IUI treatment
Unexplained fertility means that you have a good egg count, a healthy uterus, an open fallopian tube and a good sperm count under all normal conditions, your success rate, if you’re in this category, is 7-10% per cycle.
A single open fertility tube means you have one blocked one and one unblocked fallopian tube, the success depends on the blockage’s location on the blocked tube and then it is close to the ovary the success rate is 11.7% and it’s closer to the uterus it is near 38.1%
If there is male infertility with no severe sperm problems then the procedure enhances the process of natural conception by putting sperm closer to the egg.
It is a crucial factor determining the success of IUI treatment, under 35 years it’s 13% above 35 it’s 9% and over 40 years it’s 3-7%
Timing of the procedure
You have to be very sure and clear about the time of your ovulation, the days when you are the most fertile, it plays an important part in you getting pregnant because it increases the chances of you conceiving.
What to expect during IUI treatment?
It may take fertility medications that help make your egg mature and ready to be fertilised, the doctor will do the procedure during the time of ovulation( when your eggs are on release ) , sometimes you’ll be given hormones that trigger ovulation, and get you ready to maximize your chances to get pregnant, then your partner of the sperm donor collects semen and sperm washing is done( where sperm Is collected from the semen), during the procedure a thin flexible tube through will enter your cervix into your uterus, pregnancy happens if the sperm fertilised the egg and that fertilised egg gets implanted into your uterus, it only takes 5-10 minutes to do the procedure and it’s not usually painful but some people will experience mild cramping.
How long is the IUI process from beginning to end?
The IUI treatment is approximate four weeks around 28 days, from beginning to end, about the same length as your menstrual cycle.
Before starting the process, the couple has to go through an examination that includes bloodwork, semen analysis, ultrasound and other diagnostics
Some people are given fertility medicine for five days or injectable medication for 2 weeks, which increases your chances of ovulation and releasing multiple eggs, not all people require medications.
The process only takes a few minutes to insert the sperm, you are required to lie down for about 15 minutes afterwards.
You can take a pregnancy test after two weeks of the procedure.
What can you expect after IUI treatment?
- The symptoms may include:
- Mild cramping
- Spotting for one or two days
What are the risks?
There is a small risk of infection during the procedure with the instruments are not sterilized nicely but they are very rare
- Multiple babies
Due to the medication used to induce ovulation there may be a risk of multiple pregnancy, that is the medication increase the likelihood of getting more than one egg fertilised at the same time
- Ovary hyperstimulation
It is a condition that occurs when ovaries over-respond to fertility medications where a large number of egg may be matured at a time which result in fluid build-up in the abdomen and some cramping also an enlarged ovary.it can cause fluid build-up in the chest and abdomen, kidney problems, blood clots and twisting of the ovary.
When should you call your doctor?
If you’re taking fertility medications, you should call your doctor if you experience any of the following
- Severe pelvic or abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Shortness of breath
- Sudden weight gain
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
How long does it take to get pregnant after going through the process?
The process takes 5-10 minutes to take place with no medication or pain relievers, it takes about 6-12 days for a successful implementation of a fertilized egg and 2-3 days for hCG to build up , so you can say it’s least 14 days for you to conceive.
How time before it takes the process to work?
The procedure won’t work for everyone, some couples try several times before they get pregnant and others may not have any success at all, the doctor may suggest trying at least 3-6 times before moving to another treatment.