Many couples who have been trying to conceive for a long time will eventually seek medical help from experts whether they like it or not. While there are a lot of fertility drugs out in the market to help correct fertility problems, a good solution that many doctors would advice their patients is IUI for pregnancy to happen.
What is IUI and how can it help to achieve pregnancy?
The first treatment option that many couples who are dealing with infertility would go for without the involvement any medicated drugs is the Intrauterine Insemination (IUI). This procedure is done by placing specially washed sperm directly in the uterus, passing through a small tube or catheter. IUI helps achieve pregnancy by making sure that more sperm is available to access the egg and fertilize it making conception to happen.
Another term that IUI is known for is human artificial insemination (AI). The reason that the name has been changed is because AI can now be performed in four different locations: the vagina (intravaginal insemination), the cervix (intracervical insemination), the uterus and fallopian tubes (intratubal insemination). Artificial Insemination was the main term for all four procedures. However, Intrauterine Insemination is a more specific term that refers to putting sperm in the uterus.
When should you use IUI?
Men and women who are having difficulty achieving pregnancy would choose to go through an IUI procedure. But you cannot make any hasty conclusion that it is what you truly need unless a thorough assessment and medical evaluation has been done and a doctor’s order has been made official.
Generally, IUI is used when the couple is experiencing any of the following problems:
- The female’s cervical mucus is hostile to the presence of sperm.
- The male has a low sperm quality including number and motility.
- The male is infertile due to antibodies present in his own sperm.
- Ejaculation caused by muscle contractions in the vagina as well as psychological problems.
- A couple’s inability to have intercourse due to disability, injury or premature ejaculation.
What are some precautionary measures you need to consider when going for an IUI procedure?
If you opt to proceed with an IUI to increase your chances of pregnancy, there are certain risks involved. You should be forewarned that just like any other treatment procedure, no method goes without potential drawbacks and as for IUI, these are: infection, short cramping of the uterus and there is also the risk of venereal disease transmitted from the donated sperm. Although sperm banks has been looking into this case more closely now and the cases have reduced. Another risk is multiple pregnancy as a result of taking fertility drugs. To minimize this risk, your doctor will stop your menstruation in the middle of the cycle. If you happen to have multiple pregnancy, the chance of a miscarriage is high. The baby is also at risk of a low birth weight.
An uncommon condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome may also occur if you take fertility medications after your IUI. This problem manifests in the enlargement of the ovaries and fluids in the abdomen. At the occurrence of this syndrome, the IUI process will be stopped even before insemination has been made.
What is the success rate of IUI and pregnancy?
Studies show that the success of IUI and pregnancy in couples is 5% to 30%. There are factors to consider if you want to ensure a more successful IUI and pregnancy. A significant factor to keep in mind is that the younger you are, the more successful the outcome is likely to be. However, it should not be looked as a fact to all cases because success with IUI and pregnancy have also been recorded with women over thirty-five. Also, the couple can undergo therapy to improve sperm count and motility and later affect the success of the IUI procedure and hopefully will result to a successful pregnancy afterwards.