Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is one of the simplest and most economical methods of assisted reproduction treatments and attracts couples of younger age, mainly, who have not been diagnosed with any significant fertility disorder (tubal tract, normal mammary cavity, normal sperm-diagram).
Necessary prerequisites for intrauterine insemination are:
-The tubal patency as well as the functionality of the fallopian tubes
– The sufficient number of the moving sperm in the treated semen.
The Intrauterine Insemination process can be implemented in two ways:
– Following the woman’s natural cycle, where a follicle is released from the ovary every month
– With mild hormonal stimulation to produce more follicles, in order to increase the chances of fertilization
The monitoring the woman is executed through ultrasounds and blood test investigations during her cycle, where follicular growth is controlled. Ovulation is usually programmed with the administration of a chorionic gonadotropin injection. However, it may also be performed without pharmaceutical intervention, if the assisted reproduction specialist finds it appropriate. Intrauterine Insemination is a painless process that takes place shortly before the woman’s ovulation, lasts for a few minutes and does not require narcosis. The partner is responsible for the collection of the sperm a few hours earlier, which is processed and enriched appropriately by biologists, later that day. The gynecologist, then, enters the enriched sperm into the woman’s womb through a thin catheter. Another advantage of this method is that, after a while, the woman can return to her activities normally. For enrichment of sperm the partner gives semen about 2 hours before the time of the scheduled insemination. With special treatment, the sperm cells with the greatest mobility and the best morphology are selected from the sample. Afterwards, they are placed in a specific nutrient medium, through which they obtain more mobility and become more active. If the day of the insemination the semen does not show the required qualifications, a second sample may be requested from the spouse. The goal is to increase the dynamics of the sperm in order to rise the likelihood of pregnancy success.
The results of the procedure are checked 14 days after the procedure, by measuring the levels of β-chorionic gonadotropin in the woman’s blood, where growth of the hormone indicates the presence of pregnancy. In case of a positive pregnancy result, obstetric ultrasound is scheduled, 14 days after the test, to control pregnancy. Intrauterine insemination facilitates sperm to approach and fertilize the ova into the fallopian tubes, following the natural process of fertilization. Fertilized eggs will stay for 5-6 days in the fallopian tubes and if they develop into blastocysts, they are transported into the intrauterine cavity where they are implanted and grown.
The main advantage of this method is that it is less intrusive than IVF and requires mild to none use of medication, making it a more economic process. In some cases, it is possible to repeat the treatment, even on a monthly basis, after medical confirmation until the desired result of a pregnancy is achieved.