Intrauterine Insemination - Is IUI For You?
If you have been having trouble getting pregnant and are looking into fertility treatments, IUI may be an option worth looking into. Generally, artificial insemination such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) is used when a woman’s cervical mucus is either hostile to sperm or scant. IUI lets the sperm bypass the cervix by being directly transferred into the uterus.
Other Reasons to Consider IUI
IUI is also used when the man has a low sperm count but his sperm is otherwise healthy. Men who suffer from retrograde ejaculation are also likely to benefit from IUI. There needs to be certain criteria met by both men and women for them to be able to be considered viable candidates for the IUI procedure.
IUI – The Procedure
Male sperm is tested before IUI treatment is pursued and the sperm needs to reveal that they are functioning normally in terms of their movement or mobility, morphology or shape and count or amount. If sperm is misshaped or unhealthy, IUI treatment will not be able to induce fertilization. In the event this happens, the couple may have to resort to donor sperm.
Females are tested to see if their fallopian tubes are open, if their uterine cavity is normal and if they have a normal ovulation cycle. In some cases, women that ovulate irregularly or those with ovulation disorders can undergo intrauterine insemination with the use of fertility drugs. This is because these injectable hormones cause the ovarian follicles to mature into eggs by stimulating ovulation. Then IUI can be performed to apply the sperm directly into the uterus. The most important aspect of this procedure is timing since it’s only when both the sperm and egg are both present at the same time that there can be fertilization.
IUI can be performed either with or without using fertility drugs. The utilization of drugs will increase the number of mature eggs your body produces which then increases the likelihood of conceiving.
IUI Risks to Consider
You should know that with an increased number of mature eggs comes the possibility of multiple pregnancies. This is considered one of the very few risks of IUI. Other risks include the possibility of infection, transmission of diseases from sperm donors and cramping of the uterus. The strict regulations and screening methods in place at sperm banks greatly decrease the risk of transmission of infections through sperm donations. Other risks associated with the IUI procedure are rare. Discuss these with your partner and doctor prior to starting IUI.