IUI refers to Intrauterine Insemination, it is quite different from IVF. In IUI the semen is used and for processing, which is then washed so that only highly active sperms are taken. These sperms are then inserted directly into the uterus of the female partner. This method is quite effective in patients who face certain troubles with natural intercourse or if problems with the semen parameter such as low motility or low sperm count. This procedure is scheduled as per the timing of the release of an egg from the ovary of the woman. This procedure is painless and doesn’t need any anaesthesia or hospitalization.
IUI is quite helpful for the patients who face certain problem in normal intercourse or the faulty semen parameters like low sperm count or low sperm motility. IUI is also the method of choice in the cases of unexplained infertility where the cause of infertility is unexplained, however, IUI is feasible only if the tubes are open,if the fallopian tubes are blocked then IUI is not advised and the patient is told to choose other methods such as IVF.
Along with IUI, ovulation induction is usually recommended. The female partner is given some medicines or injections from the second or third day of the menstrual cycle and then when the ovum is formed when the injection is given for releasing the egg. IUI is done 36 hours after giving the injection for releasing the egg. For this method the couple needs to come to the clinic, the men then need to give the sample then and there the given sample is washed. After this the semen is injected inside the womb of the women in the clinic only. This procedure does not require any anaesthesia or hospitalization. After 15 days of getting this procedure done the patient is called to check whether the pregnancy test is positive or negative.
Couples, where the main fertility issue lies with the female partner, which is the blockage in the fallopian tube in that case IUI is not advised. Similarly, in men conditions such as no sperms in the semen IUI is not recommended with the husband’s semen. However, there is one option of donor semen in these cases, IUI can be accomplished with the help of donor semen in such cases. If sperms are there in the testis but absent in the semen, then the patients need to go for IVF with TESA, i.e. recovering the sperms from the testis, which is followed by IVF.
Like any other infertility treatment the couple is encouraged to abstain from bad habits like alcohol consumption and smoking. For the purpose of IUI, medicines are given to induce ovulation that is given from the second or the third day. The women need to visit the clinic for regular follicle monitoring, i.e. monitoring the growth of the egg with the help of ultrasound. Once the ovum formation occurs, an injection is directed to the woman and the IUI is normally planned about 36 hours after that injection. The man is told to refrain from intercourse for at least 3 days from the process of IUI so that the semen sample collected on the day of IUI is adequate.
After IUI the patients are prescribed certain medicines which they need to take for at least 15 days. They are told to refrain from alcohol and smoke as well. Abstaining from intercourse is not that important, as the couple is advised to have intercourse on the day of getting IUI and the next day of IUI as intercourse is responsible for propelling the sperms towards the egg. there is as such no foundation in the routine activities. Only vigorous activities are inadvisable.