Artificial insemination is the procedure to tackle infertility issues, wherein the sperm is introduced either into the vagina, identified to be as intracervical insemination or directly into the uterus for further implantation, identified to be as intrauterine insemination. The procedure is being commonly opted by many single women and lesbians.
Preparation for Intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedure
- On the basis of pelvic examination and ultrasound, the childbearing capacity of a woman and any structural abnormality in the ovaries and fallopian tube is determined.
- With the help of an ovulation predictor kit, the ovulation time is predicted by when the woman secretes maximum level of luteinizing hormone (LH); and at the same time serum sample with enriched sperm count is kept ready for further insemination.
- In case the woman has a problem with ovulation, she will be given hormonal injections.
- Ideally, IUI should be suggested within 6 hours, either side of the ovulation.
During the procedure
The intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a simple process lasting for 45 mins to 1 hour and can be performed in the fertility clinic.
The patient is asked to lie down in a hospital gown on an examination table. The cervix is observed with a speculum and further cleaned with a little culture medium.
The sperms are injected into the cervix using a fine plastic catheter. The patient is asked to stay immobile in a similar position for approximately 15 to 45 mins.
Risk and complications
- The IUI is a relatively safe procedure with a rare indication of any complications; however, it has a relatively low success rate, demanding for multiple attempts.
- In some rare cases, the procedure may be associated with infection-causing abdominal pain.
- The fertility drugs prescribed may have various side effects like depression, hot flushes, pain etc.
- The drugs can also cause ‘ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome’ associated with the formation of multiple ovarian cysts, swelling in the ovaries, multiple egg production; thus, increasing the risk of multiple pregnancies.
- leading to the formation of ovarian cysts, swelling of the ovaries and production of multiple eggs at a time that can result in multiple pregnancies
Uses of intrauterine insemination
- It is a less expensive procedure, providing a more natural way of fertility.
- IUI is useful when the female partner suffers from a sperm allergy, have mild endometritis, cervical mucus resentment or when the male partner suffers from poor sperm motility or a low sperm count, unable to ejaculate into the vagina.
- In case of unavailability of semen sample of a partner, even stored semen can be applied.
- Since the procedure is non-invasive recovery is faster.
For medical tourists, advanced planning, proper diet, moderate exercise and a healthy lifestyle is suggested to increase the success rate.