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What is IUI?

IUI or Intrauterine Insemination is a treatment to aid fertility or conception.  IUI treatment uses a catheter to put washed, prepared sperms (male eggs) at the top of the cavity of the womb around the time of release of female egg.  This increases the chances of getting pregnant.  IUI is usually done in combination with other treatment, in the form of tablets or injections for growth or release of female eggs.



Treatment in the form of tablets or injections is usually started from Day 2 or day 3 of your periods for growth of your eggs.  You are then called for Ultrasound from day 9 of your periods.  Repeated Ultrasound helps the doctor to know if your egg is growing well.  They also measure the size of the egg.  Once the egg has grown to around 16 to 18 mm, they would then give you injection for the release of the egg.  Once the egg is released, then they would do IUI or Intrauterine insemination for you.   This is usually after 36 – 40 hours after the injection for the release of the egg.

Is IUI the right option for me?

IUI is done when other causes of infertility have been ruled out and there is no other cause.  This is better known as ‘Unexplained infertility‘.  IUI is also done in Mild Male factor infertility.

For IUI, it is important that both of your tubes are normal.  It is also important that your partner has 5 million or more forward – moving sperms per ml or more than 1 million forward moving sperms are present after the sperm preparation process.

What are the chances of getting pregnant?

The chances of getting pregnant with IUI is approximately 16 – 20% per cycle.  This is slightly lower than the chances of getting pregnant with IVF which is approximately 30 – 40%. 

The success rate depends on many factors like age, BMI and even the fertility centre from where you get the procedure done.

Does IUI require an operation?

IUI does not require any operation.  You need not get admitted to the hospital.  It only requires 15 – 20 minutes of rest after the procedure.

It even does not require the taking out of your egg with an injection as in IVF.

What are the risks involved?

The main risk is the risk of multiple pregnancy.  There are increased chances that you may have twins or even three babies in your womb if you get pregnant.

Risk with tablets/injections for the growth of your egg – There is some risk that they may increase the growth of your eggs a little bit too much and inturn lead to a condition called as Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.



When not to do IUI?

If your age is above 45 or your ovarian (female egg manufacturing unit in female body) function is low, then you may be straight away offered IVF rather than IUI.

If the tubes are blocked or damaged, then IUI is not useful.

How many days should I rest after IUI?

IUI does not demand you to have any period of rest after it is done.  You can carry on with your regular activities as usual.  Don’t forget to do the pregnancy test on the 14th day of IUI.

Any precautions after IUI?

After having an IUI, you should avoid alcohol and smoking.  

You should eat healthy food and sleep well.

You should be taking Folic acid tablets apart from your other regular medications as prescribed by your doctor.  Do consult your doctor to know which medications out of your regular medications should be taken and which require to be stopped.

Follow Up/Further Treatment

You should again go back to your doctor 14 days after the IUI is done, whatever may be the result of the pregnancy test.

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