What to Expect in Artificial Insemination

Sometimes, the traditional method of conception doesn’t work. In cases like that, artificial insemination is a modern solution that bypasses most issues. However, there’s a stigma around the entire procedure that has barely anything to do with reality. Intrauterine insemination, or IUI for short, is a procedure where sperm is placed directly into the uterus to achieve fertilization. It might sound scary or nerve-wracking, but thanks to modern medicine, it’s a very straightforward procedure.

Reasons why you may need it

There are several reasons why a woman may require artificial insemination, personal preference notwithstanding. Often, it could be due to infertility, either on the female or the male side. Sometimes, it can be a hostile cervical mucus, or it could be if treatment with fertility drugs isn’t successful enough. In some rare cases, it can be due to sexual pain, making intercourse impossible. There can be other reasons, too, and all of that depends on the individual.

The procedure itself

The IUI procedure can be stressful and can even be scary. However, as a procedure, it’s considered to be quite simple. It’s done in a fertility clinic, and if you’re using a sperm donor, then the sperm will be thawed and prepared directly before the procedure. If you’re with your partner, then they’ll be the one to provide you with a sperm sample just before the procedure via masturbation. In the latter case, the semen is put through a special procedure in which it’s cleansed from all impurities, so the only thing that’ll be left is what’s needed for conception. The procedure might be easy and simple, but you still must choose a clinic that you can trust, like for example, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Private Healthcare.

After the procedure

Once you’re done with the procedure, your doctor might prescribe you progesterone, which is usually taken as a vaginal suppository. After a week passes, your doctor will probably order blood work, and they’ll check oestrogen and progesterone levels, and possibly hCG levels. In the following week after the blood work, you can either take a pregnancy test at the clinic, or you can take an in-home test. One of the most important aspects here is not to feel stressed. Waiting to see if the treatment was successful can take its toll, so make sure to take it easy.

Risks

The IUI procedure is considered relatively low-risk. There’s usually a small chance of infection, while the biggest risks come from using fertility drugs. If you’re using gonadotropins, then you have an increased risk for developing the ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, and for conceiving multiples, like twins or triplets. Your doctor may even cancel your treatment cycle if there are too many potential follicles, and in that case, it’s vital to follow their every instruction.

IUI is a procedure that has an overall high success rate, statistically speaking. Since there are several treatment cycles, you’ll have to take into account more than one cycle, but it’s still a promising type of insemination.