Intrauterine Insemination

It is a fertility treatment in which the sperm are placed inside the uterus of a woman to increase the amount of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes. This process tends to increase the chances of fertilization and thus, chances of pregnancy.

This procedure is undertaken by couples who suffer from unexplained infertility, low sperm mobilization or factors of such sort. Most often it is carried out with the help of ovulation stimulating drugs. Before inserting the sperm, they are prepared for IUI (intrauterine Insemination) that removes toxic elements that could cause biological damage and they are washed and then used.

The procedure is usually carried out at the doctor’s clinic or at the fertility clinic and it takes only a few minutes to complete the whole process. Generally painless, anesthesia is not used for this treatment.

Side effects of fertility drugs taken for IUI:

Most of the side effects of these drugs are common, some cause a problematic situation for the woman but they are generally curable, and they disappear after the medication stops. Here are some of them:

  1. Mood swings and depression – these are very common even during periods, so no need to worry about them.
  2. Nausea, headaches and visual disturbances- nausea and headaches are common, but in case of visual problems, the doctor can be consulted, although nothing serious is expected to happen.
  3. Cramps, swollen ovaries and ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)- due to the process of IUI, these side effects may appear and cause discomfort. But none of it are to be stressed.
  4. Breast tenderness and bloating- due to the drugs and their effects of hormones, these scenarios may be encountered.
  5. Rashes and swelling around the pelvic area- just like cramps and swollen ovaries, these might happen but once the process is complete, they disappear.

The side effects of IUI are minimal and other complications might occur varying person to person. In case any of the above-mentioned sympSuccess Rate of IUI Treatment toms sustain for long, consult a doctor immediately. Other complications should be observed and dealt with cautiously.

How long does the implementation take?

The egg is viable fully for 12-24 hours after ovulation. Dependent upon fertility of the person and also the number of IUI treatment cycles you have gone through, the implementation takes place between 3-12 days. This also varies from person to person.

How do we know that the implantation has taken place?

Do not hurry to check if the implantation has taken place. Taking a pregnancy test too soon might result in a false negative or a false positive (intake of fertility drugs have an impact upon this). Along with regular medication, continuous check-ups are important (after a few days) to know if the implantation is successful for sure. Mild cramps and slight spotting are the visual symptoms of having conceived.

The procedure and cost of IUI:

After having checked the fertility status, sperm mobility, hormone levels and health of the patient, the procedure is started. Along with the intake of fertility drugs and hormonal medicines (if any prescribed) the follicular growth is monitored. During ovulation, cathedrals (tubes) are entered in to the uterus of the woman through the cervix and the “washed sperm” are inserted. The patient is asked to lie down and rest for 10-15 minutes. It is a pretty quick and painless procedure.

The cost of IUI treatment is lower than or if extensive care is comprehended then similar to that of IVF (Invitro Fertilisation). The cost of per cycle can be around 4000-15000 rupees. The total cost is however dependent upon the doctor, clinic and medications.

What to expect after IUI :

It is very common to have the following things after IUI- vaginal discharge ,  slight spotting and mild cramping.

Vaginal discharge and spotting happen due to leakage after the IUI procedure accompanied with mild cramping. It doesn’t mean that IUI has failed or that some injuries have been made. Generally, the IVF doctors wait for a few days to confirm the success of the procedure, so there is nothing to be disheartened about. But in case serious bleeding and cramps occur, contact the doctor immediately.

Success rate of IUI:

Depending upon several factors such as the age of the woman, the condition of the fallopian tubes and , sperm count and mobility. Hormonal factors play a crucial role too.

Generally women aged under 35 have high rates of success (about 20%), women aged between 35-40 have 10% chance of getting pregnant and, those above 40 have 2-5 % chance.

The chances of  a successful intrauterine insemination greatly depends upon the number of cycles of treatment you undergo. In the first attempt the chances of conceiving varies between 15-20%. With 5-6 cycles of IUI can lead up to 80% chance of getting pregnant.

There is a risk of conceiving multiples. So monitoring is very important. The doctor might cancel the cycle if too many potential follicles are found. Restrain yourself from having sexual intercourse during that period for it might put the future babies at risk.

What to do after IUI for success:

The tips that could be followed after the process of IUI include:

  1. Abiding to the prescribed fertility drugs and maintaining the intake timings of the medicines-experimenting with drugs can be really harmful for the body and might be even fatal
  2. Not letting the IUI treatment cause any type of severe stress – in case of any problems, contact the doctor. Do not stress yourself, for that might affect the success rate of the procedure
  3. Abstinence for 3 days
  4. Seeking hormonal advice if required -The doctor should be contacted in such cases. This might promote expectations as well as increase the chances of success in some cases. People having hormonal issues must go through a check-up and rectify any anomaly
  5. Staying fit and healthy- having a proper diet and avoiding strenuous activities are very important- Exercising mildly regularly helps too
  6. Getting a proper and thorough check-up after 3 cycles
  7. Being patient – patience plays a key role here, be calm and don’t end the process abruptly in any case
  8. Having a backup plan- in case the fertilisation doesn’t take place even after several attempts, go for plan B.

Recognizing and acknowledging the problem (if any) in the first step. After consulting medical professionals and exploring all the available options any further steps should be taken.  Thorough check-ups and constant monitoring is required to have a safe and hassle free treatment, the rest is upon chance. All the best!

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