No one ever plans to have fertility problems, but it happens to the best of us, and so we have to start looking into ways in which we can conceive despite our bodies not cooperating fully. A IUI is one way to make pregnancy happen, even when it’s not happening on its own.
What Is It?
Intrauterine insemination is the official term, but many doctors may refer to the procedure as a IUI. This procedure is performed by carefully threading a flexible catheter through the cervix and then injecting washed sperm directly into the uterus. This is obviously a procedure that needs to be done by your doctor, and you will decide together that this procedure gives you the best chance at conceiving.
How Long Does It Take?
Luckily, the whole process is over and done very quickly. You’ll usually have a speculum inserted, and then a catheter and process that probably takes a minute to two minutes to complete. Then, the washed sperm will be injected, which takes just seconds, and then another 60 seconds to take the catheter out. The catheter could go in much more quickly, but going slow and taking about 60 seconds to introduce the catheter and then withdraw it makes the procedure more comfortable. In rare instances the cervix is hard to reach and a tenaculum is used to hole the cervix which may take a bit more time and make it a bit more uncomfortable.
When Is The Best Time To Attempt A IUI?
The most ideal time to perform a IUI is within six hours of ovulation, either before or after. When there are male infertility issues many doctors advise that the IUI is done after ovulation. If there are female infertility issues, it’s usually advised that you do the IUI before the ovulation as chances are higher when the sperm is there just waiting for the egg.
When timing of the IUI is based on and HCG injection, the IUI is usually done between 24 and 48 hours later. Average timing is to have a single IUI at about 36 hours post hCG though some doctors do it more around 24 hours, and other are reporting that doing the IUI at 40-42 hours yields the best results. If you are having two IUI’s schedules, you’ll find that they are usually done 12 hours apart and are usually done between 24 and 48 hours after the hCG. Although some experts believe that there is not an increased chance of a resulting pregnancy with two IUI’s, others report it may increase chances of success by 6%.
Some doctors base the timing of a IUI on a natural LH surge. In cases where a natural surge is used for timing a single IUI at 36 hours is typical, but doing them around 24 hours is also very common since ovulation may have actually occurred earlier. It’s important to remember during this timing that the egg is only viable for twenty four hours after it’s been released.
The success rate of a IUI varies from clinic to clinic as well as when you break up the type of infertility issue at hand. But, success rates vary from about 6% to 26% chance per cycle, which is a promising success rate. The higher the sperm count, the higher the chance of success goes. It’s also worth noting that 23-30% of successful IUI pregnancies results in a multiple birth, too!
IUI is not for everyone, and you and your doctor can work together to determine if this procedure is right for you. The procedure itself is fairly painless, almost like having a pap smear. A well-timed IUI will mean that your cervix is already open for ovulation, easing the process. Many women have to go through a couple IUI procedures before they experience success, but the procedure is well worth it!