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Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

What is IUI (Intrauterine Insemination)?

IUI stands for Intrauterine Insemination, a technique used to boost the probability of fertilization and pregnancy in which a doctor or embryologist takes a male partner’s sperm and washes it before inserting it into the uterus close to the fallopian tube. Following natural intercourse, sperm go from the vagina through the cervix, the uterus, and the fallopian tubes for fertilization and pregnancy. It is in the fallopian tubes that most sperm enter the released, mature egg. After natural sexual activity, very few sperm can get there. IUI means artificial intercourse. 

It is a technique where doctors place a large number of concentrated sperm directly in the uterus close to the fallopian tubes to increase the likelihood that they may penetrate the egg. IUI shortens the sperm’s journey time and distance, which facilitates easy sperm-egg contact. The probability of getting pregnant successfully increases with IUI treatment.

IUI (Intrauterine Insemination)

IUI Process:

The detailed process of IUI step by step is following:

  • Your doctor may recommend that you take drugs for follicular maturation following a series of laboratory tests, including hormone tests, ultrasounds, tube tests, and analysis of your husband’s semen.
  • Your doctor takes a sample of your husband’s semen and performs IUI when one or more of your follicles achieve maturity size.
  • To maintain the vaginal opening, a doctor inserts a speculum into it.
  • Sperm flows through a small, flexible catheter inserted into the uterus.
  • Directly in front of the fallopian tube, the doctor carefully inserts concentrated and cleansed sperm.
  • Without the requirement for general anesthesia, the treatment is usually rapid and painless. But if you choose or if your passageway stenosis prevents it, your doctor might give you general anesthesia.
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Semen Preparation & Quality of Specimen:

One of the main IUI stages is sperm preparation. After a 2-5 day interval between sexual activities, the male partner provides a specimen of his semen. Per standards and studies, it is the optimal abstinence period to improve sperm motility, count, and overall health. It takes around half an hour for the sample to liquefy in a sterile container, which is necessary for the washing step.

Washing eliminates extra fluids from the sample, often known as seminal fluids. For intrauterine injection, it also concentrates the most viable and mobile sperm cells. Washing your sperm improves the likelihood that only healthy and active sperm will enter your fallopian tubes and fertilize your egg. For patients experiencing subfertility that is idiopathic or autoimmune diseases like anti-spermatic antibodies, it is helpful.

When is IUI Recommended:

Unexplained Subfertility and Infertility:

Intrauterine insemination, or IUI fertility treatment, is a good option for patients who have tried spontaneous pregnancy for a while but haven’t been successful. IUI treatment is desirable after twelve months of unprotected intercourse for couples under 35 or after six months of unsecured sexual activity for patients above 35. For unexplained infertility, IUI is the first-line treatment if meeting specific requirements.

People with Irregular Ovulation and PCOS:

IUI could prove helpful for women with infrequent ovulation and PCOS, a condition marked by hormone abnormalities, weight gain, and irregular periods. IUI assists by precisely synchronizing the transportation of sperm following ovulation.

Infertility Due to Cervical Causes: The female cervix is a tube that joins the vagina to the uterus. Sperm must go through it on the journey from the vagina to the uterus and ultimately to the fallopian tubes to be able to fertilize the egg. During ovulation (when the ovary releases an egg), the cervix also secretes mucus. Sperm can go from the vagina to the fallopian tubes with the assistance of mucus. Specific individuals have thick cervical mucus or a constricted or damaged cervix, which makes it difficult for sperm to pass through safely. IUI increases the likelihood of conception by bypassing the cervix. It multiplies the amount of sperm accessible to meet the egg by introducing sperm straight into the uterus.

Mild Male Factor:

IUI treatment is helpful for those who have male factors, such as when a semen examination reveals a slight decrease in motility, morphology, or total count. The IUI process distinguishes between high-quality and low-quality sperm and uses healthy sperm for injecting into the uterus to enhance the probability of conception.

Female Allergic Reactions:

Semen consists of sperm and fluid having different types of proteins. Occasionally, the female body will show an allergic reaction to those proteins, preventing the sperm from safely reaching the egg for fertilization. IUI procedure facilitates conception by eliminating a large number of semen proteins before sperm delivery through washing.

Some women are rarely able to produce antibodies against sperm. Those anti-sperm antibodies are immune system proteins that identify and attack sperm cells as though they were alien intruders. The antibodies in question can attach themselves to sperm cells, impairing their motility, thereby rendering it more difficult for them to fertilize an egg. Bypassing anti-sperm antibodies, IUI increases the likelihood of conceiving.

How you prepare for IUI:

The couple undergoes a series of laboratory tests, including hormone testing, a semen analysis, and an x-ray of the fallopian tubes (hysterosalpingography) to ensure their patency. A few individuals may not require fertility medications, especially if their menstrual cycles are regular. Others decide to use fertility medications such as letrozole or clomiphene after consulting a fertility specialist.

Numerous follicles form in one or both ovaries naturally or as a result of fertility medicines. Typically, only one or two mature to the point where they indicate the likelihood of carrying an egg. A series of transvaginal ultrasounds (TVS) help in follicular size tracking and watching for ovulation.

Your doctor determines the ideal time for the IUI process and administers trigger shots to you once the egg reaches a specific size to initiate ovulation, the synchronized release of eggs. The next step is semen sample collection from the husband after a 3–4-day gap of sexual intercourse and preparation for injecting into the uterus. Your doctor performs IUI at the appropriate time calculated from ovulation. Waiting for the results is the next stage.

Results After IUI procedure:

After the IUI process, you can experience some initial discomfort or cramps, but these go away in a day or two. Your infertility expert will prescribe various prescriptions, particularly those containing progesterone hormones, which you should continue taking until the day of the pregnancy test. After a brief stay or rest of around one hour at the infertility center, they will discharge you. Then, a couple of weeks after the IUI procedure, your doctor suggests a pregnancy test, either blood or urine. If the test results are positive, your doctor will schedule more appointments and recommend hormone replacement therapy.

IUI Treatment Success Rate in Pakistan:

The history of IUI treatment in Pakistan shows that the odds of getting pregnant after only one IUI treatment range between 10% and 15%. This IUI success rate is comparable to the success rate of IUI treatment worldwide. The IUI success rate in Pakistan, like that of any other country, relies on various factors like sperm health, accurate timing of the procedure, physical and mental health of the patient, and the institution or healthcare provider performing IUI. Healthcare providers play a critical role. Therefore, you should always try to speak with a high-class fertility professional who can offer tailored advice based on your unique circumstances.

Benefits of IUI Treatment:

  • Benefits of IUI treatment include being the first line stage in treating infertility and being less invasive than other assisted reproductive technologies (ART), such as IVF.
  • Couples find it a desirable alternative because it is also more reasonably priced.
  • Thick mucus of the cervix or cervical narrowing/scarring can hinder sperm movement, but IUI allows sperm to bypass the cervix.
  • The washing process of sperm for the IUI procedure selects only high-caliber sperm for injection into the uterus.
  • IUI is typically the first course of treatment for infertility due to unknown reasons.

Cost of IUI Treatment

The average cost of IUI in Pakistan is usually between 45,000 and 55,000 (with medication) Pakistani Rupees. IUI is a well-established infertility procedure that increases the chances of being pregnant. Because of its lower cost and less intrusive nature, doctors and patients frequently adopt it as the initial course of therapy for infertility. IUI treatment cost also varies depending on the institution providing it, the drugs utilized, and the number of IUI tries. It’s crucial to speak with a respectable fertility facility to go over your specific options and expenses if you’re thinking about IUI.

IUI & Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center:

Australian Concept Infertility Medica Center is the best IVF clinic in Pakistan that offers world-class infertility treatments and assisted reproductive technology (ART). We have 26 years of experience in the IVF field. Our staff of elite embryologists and highly skilled infertility experts has expertise working across Pakistan and beyond. We provide every kind of top-notch infertility treatment, including TIC (timely intercourse), IUI-intrauterine insemination, IVF, and genetic testing PGT. We provide IUI treatments to our patients in all of Pakistan’s major cities.

What to do next?

Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center provides free on-clinic or online consultations with an ART coordinator physician who takes your medical history, orders the necessary lab work, and schedules an appointment with the relevant consultant. Here is all the information you need to contact Australian Concept Infertility Medical Center physicians in various Pakistani cities. Book a free consultation today.

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