Artificial Insemination(IUI) for treating Infertility
Artificial Insemination(IUI) is a technique commonly prescribed by medical practitioners the world over to couples for inducing pregnancy.
The process of artificial insemination involves the injection of male sperms directly into the women’s uterus, cervix or fallopian tubes. Two most commonly used techniques of artificial insemination are IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) wherein the semen is placed inside the uterus, and ICI (Intracervical Insemination) in which the semen is placed near the women’s cervix.
The main objective of artificial insemination methodology is to reduce the passage for sperm, and obstacles. Artificial insemination is mostly prescribed as the first treatment option to couples struggling with infertility.
When to go for Artificial Insemination?
Artificial Insemination(IUI) is the way out to a lot of infertility issues in males and females. In men, a low sperm count or weak sperms (that are unable to flow through the cervix to the fallopian tubes).
In women, a different behaviour of the reproductive organs might play the stimuli to opt for artificial insemination, a condition referred to as Endometriosis.
In some cases, women develop a condition wherein the mucus in the cervix prevents the sperm to reach to the uterus and fallopian tubes, a condition called “unreceptive cervical mucus”. Artificial Insemination helps in this case by preventing the mucus interference in sperm flow altogether.
Artificial Insemination Process:
It’s necessary for starting Artificial Insemination that a woman is in a state of ovulation. This can be tested via ultrasound, ovulation kits and blood tests. Once confirmed, the partner then provides a semen sample high in sperm count (to ensure a higher count it is recommended that partner does not get involved in sexual encounters at least 4 days preceding). Generally it’s better to collect the semen sample at the clinic itself because within an hour of release the sperm should get washed in the laboratory, so that chemicals can be removed and the chances of pregnancy increase.
Post washing, the best quality sperms then put in a tube and inserted into vagina, where they reach uterus through cervix.
Artificial Insemination is considered as one of the shortest, easiest and painless method to induce pregnancy. Minor side effects might result in cramping or little bleeding, none of which will sustain for long period. Once the procedure is done, you can resume your routine activities in as small as an hour’s gap!
Success rate of an artificial insemination are directly correlated to a lot of factors like age of women, damaged fallopian tubes, low sperm or egg quality etc.
However on an average the success of IUI can be best characterized as:
- Women aged less than 35 years: 15% to 20%
- Women aged between 35 to 40 years: 8% to 12%
- Women aged more than 40 years: 2% to 5%
How many times should one try Artificial Insemination?
The treatment responds differently to different people. While there is a bright 10% to 20% success chance for first time triers, most specialists recommend trying IUI at least 3 to 4 times before moving to other alternatives like IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation)