The roadblock of infertility can dash your hopes of conceiving a child. In that scenario, the initials I-U-I can make you think of buying vowels on the wheel of fortune. However, it is actually a fertility treatment ideal for couples struggling to have a baby.
Before you opt for this treatment, several questions may bump into your mind;
- What is IUI?
- How can this treatment improve my odds of becoming pregnant?
- Is it worth going for?
Intrauterine insemination or “donor insemination” or “artificial insemination” is a technique in which sperm is placed directly into a woman’s uterus. IUI is a relatively non-invasive fertility treatment that can be performed using a male partner’s sperm or donor sperm. This fertility treatment is most commonly used in men and women dealing with the following issues:
- Women with unexplained fertility
- A woman who can’t ovulate due to issues like PCOS or hypothalamic patients
- Male with minor semen abnormalities or ejaculatory dysfunction
- Men with decreased sperm motility
- Anyone who needs donor sperms such as LGBT couples, heterosexual couples struggling with male factor
- Single women wishing to conceive
Thanks to the breakthroughs in IUI we can now fight against all these odds. The advancements in IUI procedures help increase the likelihood of pregnancy in couples struggling to conceive.
How does IUI work?:
IUI treatment gets started after a thorough medical assessment of both men and women. Men go through semen analysis, whereas in the case of women, various hormone levels are analyzed.
IUI or intrauterine insemination or donor or artificial insemination works by putting sperm cells directly into your uterus. This procedure is done around the time of ovulation to help the sperms get closer to your eggs. This cuts down on the time and distance sperm has to travel to fertilize your egg.
Before the insemination procedure, talk to your fertility specialists if you want to take fertility medicines to stimulate ovulation. Firstly, semen is collected from your partner or a donor. After that, it goes through a sperm washing process that collects a concentrated amount of healthy sperm from the semen.
Then your doctor will put the sperms right into your uterus. pregnant with IUI will happen if the sperm fertilizes the egg and the fertilized egg implants in the uterus lining.
Chances of getting pregnant with IUI:
The chances of pregnancy may vary from cycle to cycle. It can also vary from woman to woman. IUI is a procedure that involves a minimum of three cycles, and with every cycle, the chances of conceiving increase.
Studies have found that the IUI success rate is 16.4% per cycle for the first three tries or 39.2% if looking at all three trials together.
However, the chances of success with IUI will be different in different couples depending on certain key factors like age or underlying infertility problems.
Read on to know about significant factors that can affect your IUI success rate.
IUI success chances by age:
Age is a crucial factor determining the odds of IUI success. Pregnancy with IUI can vary based on your age.
Women under 35-50 have a 15-20% per cycle chance of success. However, women over 40 have just 5% or lower chances of per-cycle success. This happens due to a drop in the conception rate. When a woman ages, her egg quality declines, which can also reduce the chances of IUI cycle success rate.
Success rate with PCOS:
About 10% of women of childbearing age suffer from PCOS due to hormonal imbalances. However, these women are also considered as good candidates for the treatment of intrauterine insemination. The success rate of these patients generally ranges from 14-26 percent per cycle.
Success rate among patients with unexplained fertility
Diagnosis of unexplained fertility usually means you have a good egg, open fallopian tubes, and a healthy uterus. This group includes up to 25% of the women experiencing fertility challenges. Women in this category can expect an IUI success rate of 7-10% per cycle. However, after medications, the success rate can be increased to 15-25%.
Success rate in single and lesbian women:
Single and lesbian women typically do well with IUI, even in unmedicated cycles. This is because they generally don’t have an underlying fertility issue and use high-quality sperms.
A recent study depicted that lesbians have higher pregnancy rates with IUI. After one cycle, they can have a pregnancy rate of 20.5% as compared to 14.8% chances in heterosexual women.
Success rate by the number of follicles:
The success rate of IUI increases with the increasing number of follicles. Extra follicles indicate that there are more eggs available for the fertilization process. Moreover, the growing number of follicles also enhances the chances of pregnant with IUI having twins, triplets, and even quadruplets.
Certain studies also indicate that multi-follicular growth is associated with increased pregnancy rates in IUI with controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH). Therefore, an increase in the count of follicles can improve your chances of IUI cycle success rate.
IUI success rate comparisons between the fresh and frozen sperms:
Both fresh and frozen sperm can be successfully used for pregnant with IUI. However, fresh sperm are usually preferred as they tend to live for a more extended time period. Moreover, they can survive for about 24-36 hours. While the thawed sperm can survive for 12-24 hours. Therefore, specialists prefer to choose fresh sperm in the IUI cycle to increase your chances of conception.
After the continued three cycles, the fresh sperms can give the success rate up to 48%. On the other hand, frozen sperm has a success rate of up to 22%.
Tips to make IUI more successful:
IUI success rate may vary based on factors like age, health condition, or stress level. Nevertheless, you can follow some tips to increase your per cycle success chances.
Regularly visit your fertility specialist:
Your fertility specialist governs the whole IUI process. He also has the authority to cancel the IUI cycle if too many eggs are produced. Ensure that you will discuss everything with your IVF specialist to better monitor your per cycle progress.
Avoid excessive stress and anxiety.
It is natural that you may undergo an emotional ride while waiting for the results of your IUI cycles. Therefore, you should learn to relax and stay calm in the situation. Do not put too much pressure on yourself as it can impact your health. Set some realistic goals and try to remain as calm as possible during the process.
Your diet can also influence the success of your IUI cycles. A diet rich in green vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats can enhance the wellbeing of a mother.
Moreover, if you are suffering from PCOS, switching to a healthier diet can increase the chances of conception. Try to add more protein-rich foods to your plate and cut down on carbs and oily food. When you eat right, you can have better chances of a successful IUI cycle.
Avoid strenuous exercise:
You can start your everyday activities right after the IUI procedure. However, you should avoid doing strenuous exercises as they can cause premature contraction and can prevent implantation. Doing low-impact exercises like walking, yoga, and light aerobics is fine. But high cardio exercises like jogging should be avoided.
Why choose Vardaan Medical Center?:
Vardaan Medical Center is a preferred destination for all couples looking for fertility treatment. We have the top fertility specialists who offer global standard services with utmost care.
Connect with us right away and start a blissful journey towards parenthood.
Frequently Asked Question:
How much time does a sperm take to reach the egg after IUI?
It takes about 24 hours for a sperm cell to fertilize an egg. A sperm penetrates the egg in such a way so that no other sperm can enter the ovary. It is helpful in increasing your chances of a successful IUI cycle.
What is the minimum sperm count for IUI?
Several studies show that the minimum number of motile sperms needed for IUI success is approximately 6.7 million per insemination.