Preparing Yourself for an IUI Procedure

preparing for iui

One’s knowledge of IUI can help increase the chances of success of the procedure. Research is part of the preparation. In this article, we aim to provide basic information on intrauterine insemination.

Initially, of course, you may want to look around for a facility that provides IUI services. You will then have access to information regarding doctors, cost, risk factors, and health matters.

It is also beneficial to look for a support group that deals with psychological readiness for the couple to deal with any outcome the procedure may deliver. Some questions you might have regarding IUI:

  1. The differences Between IUI and IVF“Intrauterine Insemination” for short is IUI a treatment that involves sperm “washing”, then placing the processed specimen into the female’s uterine cavity with a catheter.

    IUI success depends on the couple’s physiological situation since successful insemination depends on sperm and egg being able to get together in the woman’s body to complete the fertilization process.

    “In-vitro fertilization” for short is IVF, a procedure that assist couples to produce an embryo. A two- to five-day-old embryo is implanted into the uterus of the future mother. The procedure is successful if it leads to a normal pregnancy.

    There are various methods for this procedure, but the common factor is: the insemination occurs outside of the body or “in vitro” (“in glass”). IVF a medical treatment to help the woman to produce multiple eggs. Ovulation is triggered hormonally, the mature eggs are then removed and inseminated externally with the sperm of the man.

  2. How is IUI done?
  3. • The male provides a semen specimen inside the laboratory. This specimen then is processed, or what is called “washing”. The sperm can be either fresh or frozen.
    • In an IUI procedure, the sperm are washed in a laboratory, concentrated, and warmed to increase chances of fertilization.
    • Then the washed sperm sample is drawn into a sterile catheter.
    • A catheter is used to insert into the uterus through the cervix.
    • From the catheter, the sperm is injected into the uterine cavity.
    • The procedure is similar to a Pap smear for the woman.
    • For a successful IUI, the sperm must arrive in the fallopian tube when the egg is present.

  4. How Can You Prepare Yourself for Higher Chance of Success?
    If you have decided to try IUI, you definitely want the procedure to have the very best chance of success. Here are some important points to consider:

      Some causes of infertility that IUI can be an effective treatment including:
      • Infertility due to ovulation problems
      • Unexplained infertility
      • Mild male factor infertility
      • Mild endometriosis that causes infertility

      IUI is NOT effective with:
      • Blockage of both fallopian tubes
      • Severe male factor infertility
      • Severe endometriosis
      • Severe pelvic scarring

      Sperm Quality:
      • Having the quality of the male’s sperm tested prior to any procedure will save a lot of guesswork as to what factor is responsible, should the procedure fail.
      • If the male partner does not have enough motile sperm or carries a genetic disorder, donor sperms are available. Sperm banks provide frozen sperm samples from donors who have been tested for transmissible diseases.
      • The best sperm sample is obtained after a 2-day abstention from ejaculation before providing the sample. Abstaining increases sperm count, thereby increasing pregnancy rates.
      • IUI can be effective for some cases that has a problem with sperm quality.

      However, if the total motile count is less than 5 million at the time of insemination (after processing), the pregnancy chances with IUI are much lower.”

      prepare for iui procedure

      *Clomid (clomiphene citrate) is an ovarian stimulation medication.
      *ICSI : injecting sperm into eggs

      The Female’s Condition:
      • It is necessary to monitor the woman’s menstrual cycle with ovulation kits, ultrasounds, or blood tests in order to more scientifically predict the best time to inject the sperm into the woman.
      • Medication to stimulate ovulation (controlled ovarian hyperstimulation or COH) may be used during the weeks before the procedure.
      • The medication will cause multiple eggs to be released.
      • The increase of eggs-to-sperm ratio, raises the probability of a pregnancy.
      • The age of the female contributes to the chances for success. This is due to the impact of female age on fertility. Therefore, the older the female, the lower the rate of success.
      • Severe pelvic distortion from scarring, or damaged fallopian tubes lower the probability for success because sperm and eggs will probably not be able to unite properly due to these “mechanical” problems.

      Right Timing:
      • After the ovulation occurs, the egg has a fertilization window of 12 to 24 hours.
      • Sperm prepared for IUI treatment do not last as long as sperm introduced during intercourse, and so the timing of the procedure aims at having the egg in the fallopian tube as soon as the egg is inserted.

  5. What General Principles Can Be Followed?
    • Healthy Practice:
      • In preparing your body for the procedure, follow a good diet; engage in a reasonable amount of exercise will boost your chances.
      • You need to eat healthy foods, cut out smoking, and avoid alcohol and caffeine.
      • Immediately stop the use of illegal drugs.
      • Inform your IUI doctor if you are on any prescription medication of any kind.
      • Relax, don’t think too much of the outcome of the IUI. Try yoga, or meditation.

      • Studies show that IUI plus ovarian stimulation delivers a higher success rate than insemination in natural menstrual cycles (no stimulation).
      • The increased production of eggs and sperm through medication maximizes good timing and volume of eggs and sperm.
      • There are various drugs that can address different health conditions that may be preventing the success of IUI. It is always best to consult your doctor.

    Again a gentle reminder: before you consider undergoing IUI, first gauge your physical situation and rule out as many factors as you can that may contribute to the failure of the procedure.

    If you have any questions regarding Intrauterine Insemination, don’t hesitate to contact us.