Several couples struggle to become pregnant to build their family. They feel the dream to have their own baby is difficult to achieve. For the couples with fertility problems, it is not the end of the road yet. Intrauterine insemination or IUI can help them realize their dream of becoming pregnant. With the IUI process, there is about 10-20 percent chance for women to get pregnant with every IUI cycle.
What Is Intrauterine Insemination or IUI and When Is It Recommended?
Known as artificial insemination, IUI helps treat various types of infertility in couples. The IUI treatment is simple that it is performed with or without administering fertility drugs. The procedure includes the transfer of prepared semen (thoroughly washed and concentrated) into the uterus using a long thin catheter.
The likelihood of conceiving in IUI is enhanced by performing the treatment during the ovulation period or a medicated IUI cycle in tandem with fertility drugs, which help ovulate multiple eggs after stimulating the ovaries. Being the first fertility treatment tried before the other invasive treatments like IVF, IUI is performed in multiple cycles. Some infertility situations when the doctor may suggest IUI are:
- Unexplained infertility
- Using a sperm donor
- Hostile cervical mucus
- Experience sexual pain, which makes intercourse difficult
- Male infertility, and
- Fertility drugs are not enough to achieve pregnancy
Also, Read: IUI Treatment: What to Expect
Some Essential Dos and Don’ts to Follow After IUI
There are experienced reproductive endocrinologists or fertility specialists at leading hospitals in India, who can help you become pregnant with one or a few IUI cycles. Once you have the IUI procedure done, you need to necessarily follow your doctor’s advice of what you can do and cannot do.
Rest After IUI
Once the IUI procedure is performed, you will be asked to lie down and rest for 10 to 20 minutes. Some research showed that women who took rest after IUI had better pregnancy success rates than women who just followed their everyday activities. It is advisable to take complete rest at home to avoid any discomfort. For instance, you may experience some side-effects such as nausea, bloating, headache, mood swings, and swelling. They ask for some rest to recover and avoid doing strenuous activities.
Have Healthy Food
When it comes to fertility, a healthy diet is important. Your doctor may advise you to meet the nutritionist to follow a balanced diet after the IUI process. It is essential to have required nutrients to help fertilization, and improve your chances of pregnancy. Some food that help you during the time are:
- Citrus fruits such as grapefruits and oranges for vitamin C
- Cooked tomatoes for lycopene
- Beans and lentils are rich in fibre and folate, and help maintain a healthy hormonal balance
- Walnuts for they have rich omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- Eggs are good for the supply of calcium, vitamin B6, vitamin A, iron, vitamin B12, zinc and folate
- Pomegranates help improve the sperm quality with a lot of antioxidants
Take Prescribed Medicines
Your doctor may advise you to have certain medications to increase your fertilization chances. You have to necessarily follow it.
Meet Your Doctor
After IUI, it is important to know the chances of pregnancy, so your doctor will measure the hormone levels. If required, he or she will also help you in giving hormonal support to increase the success rate.
Also, Read: IUI Treatment Success Rate and Risks
Avoid Having Pain Relievers
You may experience pain after the IUI procedure and having painkillers is not the right choice. Cramps, as well as pains, are common and will go away after some time. Over-the-counter medications have an impact on the fertility, and therefore, it is better to talk to your fertility specialist before having any medication.
Avoid Drinking Alcohol and Smoking
If you drink or smoke, it is highly essential to stop both after the IUI treatment for it will lead to some complications such as reduce fertility or likelihood of conception, damage the sperm and eggs and miscarriage.
Avoid Harmful Radiation
It is better to avoid any medical treatment like radiation therapy after the artificial insemination. In case you go to work, avoid being exposed to work hazards and harmful radiation through handling machines or chemicals. Similarly, you should not be exposed to direct sunlight for a long time as it will affect your chances of becoming pregnant.
Avoid Putting Pressure on Your Lower Abdomen
There are possibilities of doing things that make you bend or lean forward or backward when at home. This will put pressure on your abdomen, which may lead to pregnancy complications. You can have a clear idea of the body positions you should avoid after IUI.
Avoid Consuming Caffeine
Once you have your IUI procedure, avoid drinking coffee, which has a lot of caffeine. Consuming much caffeine will affect infertility and also cause narrowing of blood vessels, which is called vasoconstriction.
These are some dos and don’ts to follow after the IUI process; however, it is better to consult your doctor to guide you in this case.
Also, Read: What is IUI Infertility Treatment
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