Understand the Risks of IUI
IUI, which stands for Intrauterine Insemination, was formerly known as artificial insemination. The process is a relatively simple one that involves taking sperm that has been ‘washed’ and transferring it directly into the woman’s uterus using a syringe and catheter. While the procedure may not seem all that different from getting the sperm into the woman the old fashioned way, IUI lets the sperm bypass the cervix and go straight to the uterus, giving it a better chance at meeting an egg. As simple as the process is, IUI, just like many other procedures, comes with a few risks.
The biggest IUI risk involves its success rate. IUI has been reported to have success rates that fall between 6 percent and 26 percent based on different circumstances. When a woman or couple is experiencing trouble conceiving and turns to any method of assisted reproductive technology, there is always a certain level of stress involved. Trying IUI and having it produce unsuccessful results can really take a toll on someone and be very emotionally draining to say the least. High levels of stress can wreak havoc on your immune system which in turn can lead to problems with your health. Something as upsetting and emotionally trying as being unable to conceive can also lead to depression and anxiety.
The only IUI risks that are a direct result of the procedure itself would be some mild discomfort experienced at the start of the process when a speculum is used to view the cervix. The procedure has been known to be uncomfortable in a way that is similar to a pap test. Some women may experience mild cramping and spotting after the procedure as well. There is also some risk of contracting an STI if the sperm has not been properly screened before the procedure. Screening is important whether your sperm is coming from your husband or an unknown donor from a sperm bank or fertility clinic.
Other more serious risks are side effects from any fertility drugs that may be used before the process. Depending on which ovulation stimulating drug used, women are at risk for OHSS--the over stimulation of the ovaries. This condition can be quick serious if not treated properly.
More on IUI
It’s important to learn as much as you can about IUI or any other procedure that you are considering investing your money, time and hopes in. You can find out more about IUI on this site as well as information on other forms of artificial insemination and assisted reproductive technology. Speaking to others who have been through the process and discussing the options with your doctor can also help you make your choices when it comes to taking the next step on your journey to motherhood.