IUI or Intrauterine Insemination is a fertility treatment that helps couples with unexplained infertility to become parents. Certain factors like age, low sperm count, problems with the fallopian tube, and more may reduce the chances of conception but one should not give up.
Couples who have been trying to conceive for a long time without success can consult their doctor and opt for fertility treatments.
While increasing age is one of the reasons that may reduce the chances of conceiving, couples above 30 can experience the joys of parenthood by going in for a fertility treatment.
Although there are many fertility treatments available today, IUI is one of the safest options at present. It is less stressful and is said to increase the possibility of a successful pregnancy by about 22 per cent.
What is IUI?
Intrauterine Insemination, also known as artificial insemination, is a fertility treatment. It follows a simple procedure in which specially washed sperm is placed inside a woman’s uterus with the help of a catheter.
The main objective of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tube for fertilization. Being less invasive and less expensive, IUI is quite popular among childless couples.
When is IUI Recommended?
Gynecologists usually recommend IUI for any of the following reasons:
• Low sperm count
• Reduced sperm motility
• Unexplained infertility
• Hostile cervical mucus
• Cervical scar tissue
• Use of fertility drugs without any success
Who Should Not Opt for IUI?
While IUI is a safe procedure, there are certain situations in which IUI is not recommended. These include:
• Blockage in the fallopian tubes.
• Removal of fallopian tubes.
• Fallopian tube disease.
• A severe case of endometriosis.
• Multiple pelvic infections in the past.
Factors Affecting the Success of IUI
The success rate of IUI in couples above 30 depends on many factors, the most important ones being:
1. The frequency of the Procedure
If a couple decides to go for IUI every month, the success rate is said to be about 20% per cycle.
Studies have shown the success rate of IUI for women below 40 based on the number of treatment cycles to be:
• 16.4 percent per cycle for the first three tries.
• Only about 6 percent for cycles 4 through 6.
Due to the success rate being very low for women above 40, experts suggest attempting only one cycle. In case of a failure, they recommend moving to an IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) or some other form of fertility treatment.
2. Fertility Drugs
Studies reveal that the success rate of IUI in couples above 30 is as low as 4% when the procedure is done without the use of fertility drugs. However, the use of medications such as Clomid, human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG), and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) help stimulate the ovule for a successful pregnancy.
3. Woman’s Age
The possibility of a successful conception starts decreasing once a woman crosses the age of 35. Here is how age affects the success rate of IUI:
• Women under 35: 10 to 20 percent chance of getting pregnant.
• Women between 35-40: 10 percent success rate.
• Women over 40: 2 to 5 percent success rate.
4. Sperm Count and Preparation
The sperm sample is prepared by separating the high motility and healthy sperms from the unhealthy ones. Also, the higher the concentration of sperm in the sample, the higher are the chances of the egg getting fertilized.
5. Ovulation Timing
Sperm samples should be inseminated at the right time to increase chances of pregnancy. Blood tests and regular ultrasounds are done to monitor hormones, follicle size, and endodermis thickness. These ensure greater control over the IUI treatment cycle.
How to Increase the Success Rate of IUI?
When you plan to opt for an IUI, certain lifestyle changes may contribute to increasing the chances of a successful pregnancy. It is important to follow a healthy diet, avoid rigorous workout, and stay stress-free for a positive outcome.