Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a type of artificial insemination that is used as a procedure in case of female infertility of unknown cause, or in cases of male mild factors. IUI is one of the least complex methods and one of the first that couples turn to when they start looking for fertility treatments.
It consists of the deposit of previously prepared sperm inside the uterine cavity, without sexual contact, to achieve pregnancy during the fertility period of the recipient woman. The sample preparation allows to improve the spermatozoa conditions and, with it, the probabilities of achieving a successful pregnancy are increased.
It can be differentiated based on the sperm origin in homologous and conjugal. This gives rise to different variables, such as the time elapsed after obtaining the fresh sample and cryopreservation, or if it is carried out with a natural or stimulated cycle. All of these are factors that influence the sperm sample quality and, therefore, the chances of success with the procedure.
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The couple provides a semen sample or a donor sperm sample is thawed; in this process, the sample is ”washed” to separate normal, active sperm from those considered of low quality to ensure that the insemination contains only those with the greatest probability of reaching fertilization.
For her part, the future mother undergoes an ovulation control, where the fertile periods of the menstrual cycle are recorded to determine the correct date of insemination. If necessary at this stage, a treatment to stimulate ovulation can be recommended.
Once ovulation is detected and the most optimal day is defined, insemination takes place. The process is simple: the sample of healthy sperm is taken at the end of a catheter (a long, thin, and flexible tube) that enters through the vagina and cervix until reaching the uterus, releasing the sperm to fertilize an egg.
Below, we explain each stage of the process.
After injecting the semen sample and removing the speculum, the patient will be asked to lie on her back for 10 to 20 minutes to promote the of the sperm ascent and for the patient to rest.
The specialist then provides specific care instructions. For example, the embryo could implant in the next 5 to 7 days, so the patient should not take medications that affect the embryo.
Upon leaving the clinic, the patient can continue with her normal routine, such as returning to work, however, it is not recommended to make great efforts or carry a lot of weight. The practice of gentle sports such as slow walks, yoga or swimming help to relax and promote a good mood, which will help reduce anxiety about the procedure´s success.Having sexual intercourse between eight and twelve hours after the procedure increases the chances of success since the uterine contractions of orgasm favor the rise of the sperm that were deposited in the uterus.
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It is very important to carry out the pregnancy test, either urine or blood, until indicated by the specialist. The most common is to wait 15 days after intrauterine insemination, since this is the time it takes for the beta-hCG hormone to be synthesized, which is detected by the pregnancy test.
Testing before this time is likely to give a false negative because the hormone could not be detected; however, a false negative can also be detected if the test detects the hormone hCG used to induce ovulation.The most frequently recommended test after assisted reproduction treatment is the blood test.
In the event that the result obtained is negative, it is necessary to wait for the menstrual bleeding to occur, and a new attempt can be made at the beginning of the cycle since it is possible to carry out IUI cycles consecutively.
IUI success rate is 15% to 20% per cycle, which is similar to what is obtained with natural fertilization.
After four cycles, a cumulative rate of 45% to 50% can be achieved, and if success has not been achieved after these four attempts, success with further cycles of IUI is unlikely.
In the event that the expected result is not obtained with IUI, it is recommended to perform In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), a treatment that provides a 40% to 60% chance of pregnancy from the first cycle.
Intrauterine insemination is a relatively simple and safe process, with a low risk of serious complications. However, like any medical procedure, it has the following risks:
Artificial insemination is a relatively simple and low-cost procedure.
(The Fertility Center)
|Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)||$2,800
|TREATMENT||Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)|
(The Fertility Center)
*Prices in dollars (USD).
*Prices subject to change without notice.
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