A couple consulting a fertility doctor.

The Basics of IUI: What You Need to Know

IUI stands for intrauterine insemination, a fertility treatment where sperm is placed directly into the uterus to increase chances of pregnancy. IUI may be a viable option for couples who have been trying to conceive for a year or more without success, or for those who have certain fertility issues such as ovulation problems, cervical issues, or mild to moderate male factor infertility. The decision to accept IUI ultimately depends on individual circumstances and should be discussed with a healthcare provider. A doctor may recommend IUI if a couple is having difficulty conceiving due to factors such as low sperm count or unexplained infertility.

A  women getting ready to be a mom by IUI

The success rates of IUI in India

The success rates of IUI in India can vary depending on several factors, such as the age of the woman, the cause of infertility, and the number of cycles attempted. According to the Indian Society of Assisted Reproduction, the success rates for IUI in India can range from 10% to 20% per cycle, with higher success rates for couples who have unexplained infertility or male factor infertility. However, success rates may be lower for women over the age of 35 or for those with other fertility issues such as tubal factor infertility or endometriosis. It's important to discuss success rates with a fertility specialist to determine if IUI is the best option for your individual situation.

"Going through IUI was a rollercoaster of emotions, but the joy of becoming a mom was the greatest reward."

Eligible candidates for IUI

  1. When there is no known cause for infertility, IUI may be recommended as a first-line treatment.

  2. IUI can be helpful for couples where the male partner has low sperm count, poor sperm motility, or abnormal sperm morphology.

  3. If a woman is not ovulating regularly or has irregular menstrual cycles, IUI can be used in conjunction with fertility medications to stimulate ovulation.

  4. In some cases, the cervical mucus may be hostile to sperm or may prevent sperm from reaching the uterus. IUI can bypass this problem by placing the sperm directly into the uterus.

  5. For couples with mild endometriosis, IUI may be recommended as a first-line treatment before more invasive procedures such as IVF.

a man’s sperm

The process of IUI

  1. If the woman is not ovulating regularly, fertility medications may be used to stimulate the ovaries to produce more eggs.
  2. The woman's menstrual cycle is monitored closely to determine the best timing for the IUI procedure. 

  3. The man provides a semen sample, which is then prepared in the lab to concentrate and separate the healthy, motile sperm from the seminal fluid.

  4. Using a thin catheter, the concentrated sperm is then inserted directly into the woman's uterus through the cervix. This is a painless procedure and typically takes just a few minutes.

  5. The woman may be advised to lie down for a short time after the procedure to allow the sperm to move into the uterus. 

Sperm down in the uterus
which sperm fits in

Tips that can help maximise the success of IUI

  1. The timing of IUI is crucial for success. The procedure should be done just before or during ovulation to increase the chances of the sperm meeting the egg.
  2. Fertility medications such as Clomid or gonadotropins can be used to stimulate ovulation and increase the chances of success.
  3. A healthy lifestyle can increase the chances of success with IUI. This includes eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
  4. In some cases, additional procedures such as preimplantation genetic testing or intracytoplasmic sperm injection may be recommended to increase the chances of success.
  5. It's important to follow the doctor's instructions regarding the use of fertility medications, timing of IUI, and any other recommendations.
  6. It's important to stay positive and reduce stress as much as possible during the IUI process.
  7. It may be recommended to undergo multiple cycles to increase the chances of success. 
Artificial insemination
waiting for a baby

Potential benefits of IUI

  1. Increased chances of pregnancy
  2. Less invasive than other fertility treatments
  3. Lower cost
  4. No surgery required
  5. Natural timing of ovulation
  6. Low risk of multiple pregnancies
a man donating his sperm.

Risks and side effects involved in IUI

  1. Multiple pregnancy: There is a risk of having multiple pregnancies, which can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery.

  2. Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome: OHSS is a potential side effect of fertility medications used during the IUI process. 

  3. Infection: There is a small risk of infection during the IUI procedure, although this is rare.

  4. Spotting or bleeding: Some women may experience spotting or light bleeding after the IUI procedure.

  5. Cramping: Some women may experience mild cramping after the IUI procedure.

  6. Emotional stress: The process of IUI can be emotionally stressful for some couples, especially if the procedure is not successful.

What about IUI

The cost and insurance coverage of IUI in India.

The cost of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) in India can vary depending on several factors such as the city where the treatment is being performed, the experience of the doctor, and the clinic's reputation. On average, the cost of IUI in India can range from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 20,000 per cycle.

Regarding insurance coverage, it depends on the specific policy and provider. Some insurance companies in India may offer coverage for fertility treatments like IUI, while others may not. It's essential to check with your insurance provider and policy to know the extent of coverage, if any, for IUI treatment.

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