What is IUI?

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that helps sperm reach the egg more easily, increasing the chances of fertilization. During IUI, specially prepared sperm are placed directly into the uterus, giving them a head start on their journey to the fallopian tubes where fertilization occurs.

When is IUI used?

IUI can be helpful for individuals or couples facing infertility due to:

  • Male factors: Low sperm count, decreased sperm motility.
  • Female factors: Irregular cycles, mild endometriosis, hostile cervical mucus, cervical scarring.
  • Unexplained infertility: When the cause of infertility remains unknown.
  • Same-sex female couples or single women using donor sperm.

Benefits of IUI:

  • Less invasive and more affordable than IVF.
  • Simple and relatively painless procedure.
  • Can be combined with ovulation induction medication for better results.

How is IUI performed?

The IUI process is straightforward and takes only a few minutes:

  1. Preparation: You empty your bladder and lie comfortably on an examination table.
  2. Cervical opening: A speculum is used to gently open the vagina and expose the cervix.
  3. Sperm preparation: Healthy sperm are separated and concentrated in a lab.
  4. Catheter insertion: A thin, flexible catheter is inserted through the cervix into the uterus.
  5. Sperm insertion: The prepared sperm are injected into the uterus through the catheter.
  6. Rest and recovery: You rest for 15-20 minutes before resuming your normal activities.

What to expect after IUI:

Some women experience mild cramping or spotting, which usually goes away within a day or two. Pregnancy tests are typically taken 10-14 days after the procedure.

Success rates:

While IUI is less invasive than IVF, its success rate is lower. However, it remains a valuable option for many couples and individuals seeking effective and affordable fertility treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

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