When they say that every child is a blessing, they mean it. But unfortunately, not all children result from happy, intercourse-filled nights between two happily married adults. Sometimes, it takes a bit more work.
Couples or single men and women will turn to IUI (intrauterine insemination), which has pros and cons over IVF (in vitro fertilization). That in-depth article will answer all your questions about IUI and provide a comprehensive overview so you can make an informed decision for your family.
What Is IUI?
IUI is a fertility treatment in which sperm is placed directly into the uterus. The procedure can treat infertility in women who have problems with ovulation and cervical mucus.
In IUI, sperm are washed before being inserted into the uterus by a catheter (a thin tube). That technique allows more motile sperm to reach the fallopian tubes than naturally and reduces the risk of infection.
When Is Intrauterine Insemination Recommended?
Doctors will recommend the IUI process in these cases:
- Unexplained infertility.
- Low sperm count.
- Low sperm movement.
- Problems with erection or ejaculation.
- Women with mild endometriosis.
- The cervix or cervical mucus problems
- Couples want to avoid passing on a congenital disability from the male partner to the baby.
However, this method isn’t recommended in the following cases:
- The thickening of the endometriosis is moderate to severe.
- In case the fallopian tubes are eradicated.
- In case the fallopian tubes are blocked due to any problem.
- Fallopian severe tube diseases.
- Multiple pelvic infections in women.
- The inability to produce sperm.
It would be best if you discussed the options for conceiving. Then, your doctor can help determine the best treatment for you. Click here to book your free consultation at HayatMed.
What do you do to prepare for IUI treatment?
- Stop taking birth control pills.
That is a good idea if you plan to become pregnant, as they can affect your fertility.
- Stop taking fertility drugs.
These include Clomid and gonadotropins, often used to treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
- Stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
Since they can cause low sperm count, smoking also increases the risk of miscarriage in pregnant women with IUI babies.
- Do not use recreational drugs or medications.
They contain opioids (such as Vicodin) since these may impair sperm motility and reduce a man’s ability to produce semen during ejaculation.
The same goes for less than an hour before having sex; it’s best not to smoke marijuana within 6 hours of intercourse because that could interfere with the female partner’s ovulation cycle by making her more fertile at different times in her menstrual cycle than she would have otherwise been able to be
What can I expect during IUI?
Ovarian stimulation is a process of giving the body fertility drugs to make the ovaries produce more eggs. The goal is to have at least one mature egg available for IUI when it’s time to perform the procedure.
Triggering ovulation means you’ll be given injections of hormones that will cause your ovary to release its egg(s).
Sperm preparation is necessary so that sperm can be used for IUI. That involves separating only motile (active) sperm from a sample of semen, which could be done in various ways depending on your insurance coverage and individual preferences.
Insemination means inserting fertilized eggs into your uterus through an ultrasound-guided needle inserted through your vagina and cervix by either yourself or someone else (usually a nurse).
What can you expect after IUI treatment?
After an IUI procedure, you can expect to have a period, and it may be heavier than usual and last longer than your regular cycle. Consider taking pain medication before beginning your period.
You may also experience cramping after an IUI procedure—it’s common for women to notice when they stand up or walk around once the sperm has been deposited into the uterus.
If you experience severe cramps that don’t go away with time, consider taking pain medication (such as ibuprofen) before they start getting worse so that they aren’t as painful by the time they peak.
You might also have some spotting following your treatment—that is common but not always expected! Please track how many days it takes between each day of bleeding until there are no more traces.
Call your doctor immediately if you experience heavy bleeding or excessive spotting for over two weeks post-treatment. You might want extra tampons for these first few days after treatment ends, just in case!
Some people also report feeling bloated from having semen injected into their uterus. But it’s nothing too serious compared to other side effects, such as nausea or vomiting (which is why we recommend eating beforehand).
What medications are used during IUI?
Medications may be used before your IUI to help the sperm reach the fallopian tubes faster and to improve the quality of your cervical mucus.
These medications include:
- Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) is an oral prescription medication that helps regulate your menstrual cycle. It also increases estrogen levels and stimulates ovulation.
- Menotropins are injectable medications that contain both follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).
These hormones help stimulate ovulation by increasing follicle size in your ovaries, which in turn releases estrogen and progesterone into your system to thicken your uterine lining for the implantation of an egg.
How much does IUI cost?
The cost of IUI treatment varies based on the provider, the type of treatment, and insurance coverage. Your plan may cover some or all costs if you have health insurance.
The cost of IUI can be confusing because it depends on so many factors:
- The type of infertility treatment used.
In some cases, only one round will be necessary; in others, you may need multiple rounds. In addition, if you are using donor sperm or an outside source egg, that will also affect the cost.
- Where you live
The cost may vary based on where you live in the country or even within a city. In addition, some states have more restrictive laws about who can perform specific procedures (like IUI) than others.
Older women experience more complications during pregnancy than younger women so they may require more tests or extra levels of care during pregnancy and childbirth.
How much does IUI cost in Turkey?
IUI costs in Turkey vary depending on various factors, such as the clinic and treatment. In general, however, you can expect to pay between $1500 and $2000 for IUI treatment in Turkey, considerably less than most US clinics charge.
How much does IUI cost in the US?
The cost of IUI varies widely, depending on where you live and what your health insurance covers. The average price for a single cycle of IUI is $1,000 to $1,500, but costs can go as high as $5,000 or more.
If you’re paying out of pocket for fertility treatments, talk with your doctor about the options most likely to help you get pregnant before deciding how much to spend on IUI.
If you’re looking for an affordable treatment option, consider looking into local clinics or hospitals that offer discounted services — primarily if they’re affiliated with larger chains that manage multiple facilities within your area.
What Are Some Side Effects of IUI?
- Mild bleeding (spotting).
- Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are rare side effects but can occur after IUI.
These symptoms may be due to the medications given during the procedure or stress hormones released during ovulation stimulation that can cause nausea and vomiting (emesis), especially in women susceptible to these conditions.
For women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), these symptoms may be more frequent and severe than for other women because of their increased risk of developing ovarian cysts before ovarian stimulation with gonadotropins or clomiphene citrate (CC).
Therefore, women with PCOS should discuss that possibility with their doctor before having an ovulation induction cycle with gonadotropins or CCs.
How painful is IUI treatment?
IUI treatment is mostly painless. The sperm sample is inserted directly into the uterus, which means there’s minimal discomfort associated with the procedure.
There may be some cramping after the IUI procedure, but that should subside within a few hours to days.
How effective is IUI in getting pregnant?
IUI is a simple and effective treatment for infertility and a good option for couples with trouble conceiving.
IUI is more effective than Clomid, which only has an average success rate of about 30 percent. IUI can lead to pregnancy in about 60 percent of those who try it—and sometimes, even higher rates are reported.
For comparison’s sake, ovulation induction (a treatment that uses medication to stimulate your body into producing multiple eggs) has an approximate success rate of 40 percent or higher.
How long does it take to know you are pregnant after IUI?
If you’re trying to conceive, it can be hard not to get anxious about the results of your pregnancy and home pregnancy tests.
What’s the first thing that happens after IUI?
Getting your first positive result from a urine test kit may take about two weeks. That said, if you don’t get a positive result within two weeks, don’t worry—you should still hold out for another week or so before seeing a doctor just in case there was something wrong with your test (or because it takes some time for sperm to make their way into your uterus).
Also, if testing shows no signs of pregnancy after six weeks have passed since the IUI procedure, then it’s likely that you will not become pregnant with that cycle and will need to move on to another form of fertility treatment.
How many cycles of IUI do you try before IVF?
You can try IUI again after two or three cycles, depending on your age and how many follicles you get. If you’re younger than 40, it’s not unusual to be able to have a baby via IUI alone.
That is also true for older women with the usual ovarian reserve (the ability of the ovaries to produce eggs).
If you’re over 40, however, your odds of success with less expensive treatments like IUI increase dramatically—don’t expect all of them to work! For example, the success rate for women between 40 and 42 years old is 25 percent per cycle using IUI alone.
The number drops even further once a woman has reached 43 years old: only 4 percent of women will be able to get pregnant without IVF treatment after one cycle using intrauterine insemination alone!
Read Also: cost of IVF What I need to Know
What Are The Types To Increase The IUI Success Rate?
Some tips can help increase the potential for successful treatment
Some of these tips:
Avoid Anxiety And Stress
Some feelings, like anxiety and stress, may harm the success of fertility treatments.
Patients who intend to undergo this treatment may be worried and stressed. However, they should do their best to stay away from psychological stress.
Avoid Ejaculation For Three Or Four Days Before The Treatment
The semen quality and sperm number are essential factors to the success of the treatment.
The male partner should avoid ejaculating for three or four days before the procedure to maximize the quality and number of sperm taken.
Remember that you should not prevent ejaculation for more than four days because the sperm usually has a lifespan of up to five days. So, a three- or four-day wait is ideal.
Ask About Stimulating Medications.
Sometimes, doctors recommend that the female partner take stimulating medications to help the ovaries and fertilize eggs. These medicines may increase the chances of a successful procedure.
Follow A Healthy Diet.
A healthy diet can improve your body generally and potentially increase your fertility. So you should do your best to follow a rich diet of fruits and vegetables, low-fat proteins, and healthy fats. Besides, drink a lot of water.
Exercise has a positive impact on fertility treatment. However, avoiding hard workouts when undergoing IUI or other fertility procedures would be best.
Discussing all the factors to improve IUI success rates before starting the treatment would be best.
Read Also: IVF Due Date Calculator How Does It Work
What’s the Difference Between IUI and IVF?
IVF is the more involved option and is generally more expensive. Because of that, it’s often used as a last resort when other less invasive options are unsuccessful.
IVF requires a woman to take fertility medications that stimulate her ovaries to produce several mature eggs per cycle instead of just one or two, like with IUI.
Because IVF requires several steps and incisions into the female body throughout its process, it can be costly—especially since you may need multiple cycles before conceiving—and take months to complete successfully (and sometimes even longer).
Can I have sex after IUI?
There is no restriction on having sexual intercourse right after the IUI procedure. You can resume your regular sex life as soon as you feel comfortable.
However, if you have pain or bleeding, do not have sexual intercourse immediately until it stops completely, and consult your doctor about continuing with it after that period has passed.
IUI (intrauterine insemination) is a simple and effective fertility treatment for people with trouble conceiving. IUI can be used if you have unexplained infertility, have a male partner with low sperm count or poor motility, or have a female partner with blocked Fallopian tubes.
IUI has been shown to increase the chance of pregnancy by 30 percent over natural conception and helps many people who otherwise might not be able to conceive naturally.
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