Many couples are unable to gain their own child due to infertility, which can be in men or women. To conceive their own baby, they can opt different techniques such as IUI, IVF, Surrogacy, and so on. These techniques are performed under supervision of specialists in various hospitals.
Intra-uterine insemination is the name given to a procedure where sperms are placed into the female reproductive system by a means other than intercourse. IUI is the most common form of artificial insemination, used and involves placing sperm into the female’s uterus through an assisted medical process. As it is a relatively low-tech solution to infertility problems, IUI is usually one of the first techniques used to assist a couple who is having difficulty becoming pregnant.
Limitations of IUI
There are following limitations when IUI is not effective:
- A blocked or damaged fallopian tube.
- Ovarian failure (menopause)
- Severe male factor infertility such as no sperm, very low sperm count, poor sperm motility (movement) and sperm defects. In all these cases donor sperm may be an option.
- Severe endometriosis
- A female partner over the age of 40.
First, warmed and ‘washed’ (treated) sperms are introduced into the woman’s uterus through a tube. Sperm can be provided by the woman’s husband/partner (artificial insemination by husband – AIH) or sperm provided by a known or anonymous sperm donor (artificial insemination by donor – AID or DI). The procedure is done around the time of ovulation to give the best chance of conception. Hormonal (fertility) medications might be used in conjunction with the treatment to enhance conditions for a pregnancy.
Reasons of Selecting IUI
IUI is mainly used when timed intercourse or hormonal medications alone have not worked. It is also used if ‘mild’ sperm abnormalities such as poor motility are found. It is also used in conjunction with donor sperm by same sex female couples or by women who don’t have a partner. Some additional conditions are there that leads to select IUI as an option for infertility treatment.
- Nominal Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a condition where the tissue grows inside the uterus wall, ovaries and fallopian tubes. IUI is helpful to eliminate this situation.
- Open Fallopian Tube: IUI is used if fallopian tube is found open.
- Ovulation Problems: Ovulation is a process in which women releases eggs on monthly basis. But if some irregularity in ovulation or totally on ovulation occurs that may cause infertility. IUI is helpful to conceive in this situation.
- Backward Ejaculation: This condition occurs when semen goes backward into the bladder instead of coming out of the penis.
- Unexplained Infertility: If a woman is not able to conceive, even after trying for 1 year considering that menstruation cycle and semen is normal. This condition can not be explained as there is no particular reason for that.
- Mucus Hostility: May arise as a result of a vaginal infection or the presence of anti-sperm antibodies in the mucus.
- Ejaculation Problems: Due to psychological problems such as impotence or anatomic problems of the penis, such as paraplegia.