Intra uterine insemination (IUI) otherwise called artificial insemination is one of the basic and simplest fertility treatment to achieve conception. The goal of IUI is to release a small volume of highly active motile sperms as close to the fallopian tube during ovulation to increase chances of fertilization and pregnancy.
IUI can be considered in the following circumstances:
- Low sperm count
- Decreased sperm motility
- Abnormal sperm morphology
- anatomical defects in the penis like hypospadiasis or severe penile curvature.
- Ejaculatory dysfunction like retrograde ejaculation.
- Psychological or physiological Sexual dysfunction.
- Pelvic disorders like cervical stenosis, chronic cervicitis, ovulation disorders, mild endometriosis.
IUI should not be advised in
- Severe male infertility
- Tubal disease with blocked fallopian tubes.
- Mild to moderate endometrioss
IUI can be done in a natural cycle or a cycle where ovulation has been stimulated with fertility medications. On the day of IUI the couple comes the fertility center. The women scanned and after confirming ovulation the couple signs an informed consent form. The husband then collects the semen in s sterile container given by the lab. The sperms are the processed and washed in the lab. Semen washing is a lab procedure in which the active moving sperms are separated from the dead nonmoving sperms and other debris and take around 1 hour. The fertility physician will then introduce this small volume of washed semen inside the cervix and uterine cavity as high as possible and close to the fallopian tube with the help of a soft plastic catheter called the IUI catheter. IUI is a safe, painless procedure and the women can resume activity after 15-20 minutes. She will be advised some hormonal support medications for 2 weeks after which pregnancy test is done. If pregnancy does not result, then the IUI can be repeated in the subsequent cycles at the discretion of the doctor.