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IUI and Male Infertility

Author Name: Dr. Yogita Verma Mentor Name: Dr. Kanika Kalyani on April 08, 2020

It has been observed that nowadays, in general, sperm quantity and quality is deteriorating because of changing environment conditions and lifestyle, increased stress levels due to work pressure and working conditions and below average nutrition.

Male Infertility

Male partner or sperms plays a very important role in achieving a healthy and viable pregnancy. There are many tests to diagnose male infertility but the simplest yet most important test is “SEMEN ANALYSIS”.

Currently many labs are doing this simple test but yet all labs are not well equipped for doing this test and they do not have a qualified Andrologist to do this test efficiently. So it’s extremely crucial to get semen analysis done with a certified lab only.

INTRAUTERINE INSEMINATION – IUI

For treating male infertility there are many options depending on the cause.
A very simple technique is IUI OR INTRAUTERINE INSEMINATION. In this technique good quality, motile sperms processed from husband’s semen are placed in his wife’s uterus with the help of IUI catheter at the time of ovulation under ultrasound guidance.

So, the scenarios in which IUI can be used to achieve pregnancy are:

1. Male partner having psychosexual issues due to which normal and regular intercourse is not possible and wife’s uterus, tubes and ovaries are normal.

2. Male having low sperm count (but not less than10 million) or reduced motility of sperms.

3. Husband working remotely such as in Army, working on ships, living abroad resulting in infrequent intercourse. In such cases sperms can be frozen and stored in a sperm bank and later can be used whenever required even in the absence of husband.

4. Couples in whom female has unhealthy cervix and antisperm antibodies present in cervical mucus.

5. In cases of unexplained infertility where no cause of infertility can be determined.

IUI has better outcome in couples with male infertility where the post wash sperm count is at least 10-15 million. IUI is not of any benefit in males whose sperm count is less than 5 million.

In an IUI cycle, fertility drugs or injections are given to the female partner to induce development of 1 or 2 follicles in the female partner’s ovaries. This process of follicular development is monitored by transvaginal ultrasound. When the follicle reaches an adequate size a trigger injection may/may not be given for follicular rupture. IUI is done when ovulation is confirmed by ultrasound .

Timing of the IUI procedure is very important for it’s success. It should be done around the time of ovulation.

So to increase chances of pregnancy, IUI is a simple and cost-effective treatment for couples having difficulty with conception with above mentioned problems.
Any couple who has undergone 3-4 IUI cycles and still not achieved pregnancy can discuss with their fertility consultants and go with advanced techniques such as IVF, ICSI for better success rates.

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