An IUI or Intrauterine insemination is a procedure where the sperm is injected directly into the uterus using a thin and a flexible catheter. It is a very short procedure and can be done within a few minutes. Before the IUI, first, the semen sample is collected and washed before the insemination. However, after the washing, IUI must be done as soon as possible.
The best time for IUI
IUI is a basic treatment for most subfertile couples. They have at least one fallopian tube, an ovulatory cycle, and the required amounts of spermatozoa. Since timings is a major factor for IUI, the Cochrane researchers tried to figure out if there was a one-timing technique, which could have better results. They conducted 18 random trails with different timings but were unable to reach a conclusion and had insufficient results to publish their findings. But today, after several trials and errors, the researchers concluded that IUI must be conducted before 6 hours on either side of ovulation. If the time is based on the HSG injection, it can be done between 24 hours to 48 hours later and if two IUI’s are scheduled, it is gone with a gap of 24 hours.
Is it painful?
Most women say that IUI is a painless technique. It is almost similar to a pap smear. But yes, one might experience a few cramps post IUI.
Once your IUI is complete, it is important that you lie down for at least 15-30 minutes and take it easy. It is also important to take bed rest on that day and say away from heavy lifting and intense workouts.
What is sperm washing?
Also known as sperm preparation or spinning, sperm washing is a laboratory technique where the sperm cells are separated from other cells or fluids present in the semen. Once the sperm cells are separated, the non-motile cells are rejected.
When is IUI used?
The most common reasons why the doctor recommends IUI is either the low sperm count or low sperm motility. However, it can also be used when;
• The infertility is unexplained
• The cervical condition is hostile, or the female partner is suffering from problems with the cervical mucus
• The cervical scar tissues because of any previous procedure can damage the chances of the sperm entering the uterus
• Ejaculation dysfunction
IUI is not for;
• Women who have a severe disease of their fallopian tubes
• Women suffering from pelvic infections
• Women with mild to severe endometriosis