Intrauterine insemination (IUI), (sometimes called as donor insemination, alternative insemination, or artificial insemination) is a simple procedure for management of certain types of infertility. The sperms from the male partner are directly put into the uterus of the female partner while she is ovulating to enable the healthy sperm get closer to the egg and increase the chances of fertilization. Ovulation stimulation drugs are usually administered before the procedure to ensure the availability of ova. Semen is collected from the husband (or sometimes a donor) followed by “sperm washing” to collect a concentrated amount of healthy sperm from the semen which are used for insemination.

When to do IUI?

  • IUI is done whenever a donor sperm is used – frozen sperm is thawed and inseminated in the uterus.
  • In case of unexplained infertility.
  • Some other situations where IUI can be used include the following: Low sperm concentration in the semen of the male partner: ovulation problems in female partner; endometriosis related infertility; thick cervical mucus, etc.
  • IUI is a relatively cheaper and simpler procedure- therefore multiple cycles can be employed. IVF is usually undertaken in case of failure of IUI.

Steps involved in IUI

  • Ovulation stimulation with help of fertility medicine prescribed by your best fertility specialist doctorin the city.
  • Monitoring: Ovulation is monitored with the help of trans-vaginal ultrasound to check the egg growth.
  • Collection of semen from the male partner (or the donor); thorough washing of the semen to obtain sperms. Alternatively, frozen sperms of the male partner or the donor are thawed and used for IUI. Thawing can also be helpful to isolate highly active sperm and low-quality sperm. Highly active, good quality sperms are used for high success rates.
  • Insemination: The washed sperms are inserted with the help of a small syringe and thin, flexible tube directly into the uterus. This is generally a quick, out-door procedure.
  • After the procedure, the doctor may prescribe medicine like progesterone. Blood samples may be tested serially for progesterone and estrogen levels.
  • Pregnancy follows if the inseminated sperm fertilizes an egg in the uterus which implants in the uterine wall as in normal course of natural pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy test is done after two weeks to know the result.

There are no real complications of IUI in normal conditions. Occasionally, IUI procedure is somewhat painful, generally due to cramping when injecting the sperm. The pain should disappear in short time by itself. As stated earlier, IUI is cheap and highly successful in appropriate conditions. Consult your best infertility clinic in the city for its indications and other details.