What is Insemination (IUI)? 

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a procedure of infertility treatment in which the sperm is directly put in the woman’s uterus (during ovulation) after being washed and concentrated. The intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedure, shortens the way that the healthy sperm will go through to reach the fallopian tube and fertilize a waiting egg. 

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a common fertility treatment for the ones who have trouble scheduling due to the working program or has sexual dysfunction. 

What are the steps of IUI treatment?

IUI is a procedure that should be planned individually. The basic steps of the IUI treatment typically include; 

1- Ovulation

Ovulation is the key point of the treatment. The timing of ovulation will be watched by the healthcare provider to make sure the right time when the sperm is going to be injected. In general ovulation time is 10 to 16 days after the first day of the period. Transvaginal ultrasound, blood tests where the LH levels are detected or an at-home ovulation prediction kit will help to show the right time for the ovulation.

Once the physician gets the positive result of ovulation, within 24 to 36 hours the insemination will be planned. 

2- Preparation of the Sperm

There are two options for providing a sperm sample. The first one is the fresh sperm taken on the day of the IUI procedure. The second one is the sperm given before and frozen until the operation day. Once the physician gets the sperm sample, he/she will concentrate the sperm through a process called “sperm washing”. 

3- Insemination

The last step of IUI is insemination. Insemination is performed by a catheter inserted through the cervix into the uterus. The individual will lay down just like she is in a gynecologist check-up. The procedure doesn’t require any anesthesia, it is easy, simple, and takes just a few minutes. After the physician injects the washed sperm into the uterus through the catheter, the individual will have to lie down for around 30 minutes for a brief period.

4- Getting the Results… 

2 weeks after IUI the individuals may take a pregnancy test. Blood tests are ideal for getting the correct result earlier. At-home pregnancy tests may not give the early results correctly. 

What are the Risks of IUI Treatment? 

IUI Treatment is a simple and safe procedure with low-risk levels. Just like any other procedures, the individual may experience some minimal risks, such as infection. 

Some risks specific to IUI treatment are may be as follows; 

Spotting, due to the process of placing the catheter the individual may experience a small amount of vaginal bleeding. 

Multiple pregnancies; when the treatment is planned with ovulation-inducing medications there may occur risk of multiple pregnancies. This is not directly associated with the IUI treatment, it is associated with the extent of the treatment. 

What to expect after IUI treatment?

IUI treatment is a simple process therefore the individuals may turn back to their daily routine right away. But for some individuals, there are some mild symptoms such as cramping or experiencing spotting for one or two days. These are rare but possible insignificant signs.