Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) – What is it? To whom it is done?

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Artificial insemination

Artificial insemination 

What is Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI)?

Intra uterine insemination or Artificial Insemination is the first line of treatment choice to treat the infertile couples. In this method semen sample is obtained from the husband or from a donor and processed in the laboratory and a highly motile fraction of the sperms are collected and deposited in the uterus of the women with the help of a catheter. It is simple and cost effective treatment to the infertile couples.

To whom Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) is done?

Cervical factors:

In the normal fertile women the cervical mucus allows the sperms to pass through the cervix and travel into the uterus. But in certain individuals the cervical mucus becomes hostile to sperms making them immobile. A post coital test helps to diagnose this condition. For such women IUI is the method of choice.

Ejaculatory Failures:

  • In some men due to anatomical defects like hypospadiasis he cannot deposit the semen in the vaginal vault. The sperm is spilled outside.
  • In couples having unexplained infertility.
  • Male factor infertility.

Retrograde Ejaculation:

A male factor wherein the semen passes in a retrograde way into the bladder Endometriosis

Method of Insemination:

IUI can be performed either in the normal cycle or in stimulated cycles. To improve the success rate of IUI stimulation is done to produce more number of follicles using hormones like FSH, HMG etc. IUI is less expensive if done in normal cycles but expensive when stimulation is given with hormones. Therefore this should be kept in mind before opting for this. The female partner will be asked to come to the clinic on 11th or 12th day of the cycle. A preliminary scanning is done to assess the growth of the follicles. If the growth is optimum an injection of HCG is given for maturation of the oocytes. On the 18th hour after giving the HCG IUI will be planned. On the day of insemination the male partner should provide semen sample. The sample is processed and highly motile and morphologically normal spermatozoa are collected. The sperms are suspended in a small quantity of media and placed into the uterus of the female partner using a catheter. IUI is a simple procedure usually done in the theater. A pregnancy test if the periods are missed confirms pregnancy. The success rate of IUI depends on the age of the female, period of infertility, cause of the infertility and the drugs used. However it will be around 10-15% in the first cycle.

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