Thursday, 21 November 2013

Understanding intrauterine insemination (IUI)

Understanding intrauterine insemination (IUI)
IUI or Intrauterine insemination is a kind of artificial insemination we use for treating infertility problem. It is a specialized technique done in the infertility clinics.


When is it done?

We need to check every aspect of infertility with a fresh perspective because no two cases are similar. There may be similarities in symptoms, but the treatment always differs. We use IUI to resolve many aspects of infertility problem:


a) Donor sperm: When it is diagnosed that the male partner can’t contribute in the process of conception, we decide of using donor sperm. It is a joint decision of the infertile couple and the infertility expert. Frozen sperm specimen istaken from a renowned and registered lab for the IUI procedure.


b) Cases of unexplained infertility: Many infertility cases remain unexplained. We decide of using IUI for artificial insemination using donor sperms.


c) Infertility caused by endometriosis related problems: IUI is the first treatment in such cases of infertility.


d) Male infertility because of motility or morphology problems: In some cases, male can produce enough sperms, but with weak motility (ability to move). In some cases the sperms are abnormal in shape and size. In both cases, sperms can’t penetrate the matured egg and thus, conception becomes impossible. IUI can be effectively used for separating the stronger sperms with high motility.


e) Cervical infertility: The cervical fluid provides ideal environment for sperms to travel. However, cervical fluid changes the chemical composition sometimes and prevents the sperms from entering into the uterus. IVI can be effectively used as the treatment because sperms are directly transferred to the uterus bypassing the cervix.


f) Semen allergy: It is a rare problem when women develop allergy to the seminal fluid. It caused redness, inflammation and burning sensation in the vagina as soon as ejaculation happens. Sometimes the sensitivity becomes so severe that the woman can’t intercourse. IUI helps in these cases because the semen is injected directly in the uterus bypassing the vagina.


Risks and precautions
It is quite simple process and hardly develops any complications. In rare cases, infection happens immediately after the procedure. Spotting and bleeding happens in some cases. IUI does not have the risk of multiple pregnancies. However, it can occur when it is combined with ovulation induction.


The process
IUI is a fairly simple procedure, but we do it under close observation and careful surveillance.


a) We collect the semen sample from the male partner, donor or a frozen semen sample from the lab. Frozen sperm sample is thawed and washed to eliminate the non-sperm elements that may cause harm to the fertilization process.


b) We separate the healthiest and strongest sperms from the semen.


c) We perform diagnostic tests to obtain the exact moment of ovulation. LH hormone measurement and ultrasound tests are the techniques.


d) Separated sperms are injected in the uterus at the most optimal time. The process takes hardly a few minutes and absolutely painless.


We conduct pregnancy test after two weeks of the process. Testing too early may give erroneous results.

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