What is IUI?

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a form of infertility treatment. The procedure involves placing sperm directly inside a woman's uterus in order to facilitate the process of fertilization. The ultimate goal of IUI is to help boost the number of sperm that needs to reach the fallopian tubes, thereby increasing the likelihood of conception. The IUI procedure gives an advantage to the sperm by providing it with a head start needed to reach the fallopian tubes. Nevertheless, the process still requires a sperm to actually reach and fertilize the egg by itself.1. 

IUI is a comparatively cheaper and less invasive option as compared to in vitro fertilization or IVF. This procedure works for some, but not for others because IUI depends mostly on the individual's biological conditions as well. This is why it is best to follow certain recommended tips to ensure success in your IUI procedure. Here are the top IUI success tips you must know to get pregnant.

See: Acupuncture for fertility

Where do you start?

- Meet a Verified Fertility Expert

Before you begin the IUI procedure, it is essential to understand the need for an IUI expert. You need to ensure that you consult a reproductive endocrinologist who will be able to determine when your cycle has to be canceled or resumed. IUI is a process that needs close monitoring at all times, and your doctor will help you understand which is the best procedure for your body and circumstances. After all, there are several factors that influence the fertilization rate in an IUI procedure, and an IUI expert will guide you about the various steps involved to achieve sucess.2

- Do Your Research

If you have been diagnosed with infertility issues, then it is better to first carry out thorough research on which fertility treatment would be the correct option for you. For example, in cases of infertility and for women who are above 40 years of age, the procedure of in vitro fertilization (IVF) is preferred over IUI. IVF is also said to have a higher success rate in such women. At the same time, IUI is not recommended in women who are over the age of 35 years, and it has been observed that older women take more time to get pregnant through IUI.3

See: Acupuncture for female & male fertility

IUI success tips

Several diet &  lifestyle changes can help the IUI success rate:

- Quit Smoking

It's a well-determined fact that smoking is detrimental to your health. What most of the women do not know is that smoking also affects their fertility. In fact, a survey found that only 30 percent of women in childbearing age were aware that smoking could increase the risk of miscarriage. And just about ten percent of women knew that smoking has a direct impact on their fertility.4. Women who smoke regularly will require higher doses of gonadotropin for stimulating ovulation for carrying out any fertility procedure. This is going to have a negative impact on your IUI success rate. This is why it is recommended that you quit smoking at least six months before thinking about starting IUI.5.

- Control your anxiety and stress levels

It is essential that you don't become anxious and cause yourself stress while going through fertility procedures such as IUI. Stress and anxiety both have a direct effect on fertility.6. Practice some de-stressing activities such as meditation and yoga. Controlling your stress will boost the chances of fertilization and also make your body react in a positive manner to the IUI process.7

- Regular Exercising

Regularly exercising is known to good for your overall well-being and health. A moderate level of exercise is said to be beneficial after you undergo an IUI round. However, avoid doing vigorous or strenuous exercises or playing strenuous contact sports. Avoid sitting in a similar place or position for too long and remain active. By following a workout routine you are already used to, will not have any effect on the fertilization and implantation process.8

- Have intercourse after IUI

Experts recommend that having sexual intercourse after a round of IUI may help boost the rate of fertilization. This is because the uterus starts to contract during sex, helping push the sperm further towards the fallopian tubes. This helps increase the likelihood of fertilization.9. 

- Take Your Supplements

Your doctor might have already prescribed certain supplements to enhance your fertility, thus indirectly improving the chances of fertilization following an IUI procedure.10 Supplements such as DHEA and coenzyme Q10 are known to help improve fertility. However, avoid taking supplements without consulting your doctor.11

- Try Acupuncture 

Acupuncture therapies are known to increase the blood flow to the ovaries, helping improve the quality of the egg. At the same time, acupuncture also relaxes the uterus, making it more receptive to the IUI treatment and also addresses any uterine spasms that may take place after the IUI procedure has been done.12  Due to this, acupuncture is known to improve the success rate of IUI. At the same time, acupuncture also works to improve the functioning of the fertility drugs prescribed by your doctor. Acupuncture also offsets some of the side effects from these fertility medications, while also reducing stress and anxiety. 

- Eat a Healthy Diet

What you eat plays a vital role in the success rate of IUI. Try to include more protein-rich foods in your diet and, at the same time, reduce your intake of carbohydrates. Switching to a healthier diet will increase the overall likelihood of conception and also ensure a better pregnancy.13

- Be Happy

It is essential to stay happy while you are undergoing IUI treatment. Being happy is one of the most important IUI success tips. Remember that the law of attraction presents that you attract what you imagine. So, reflect the joy of how happy you will feel once you have a baby. 

See: Acupuncture helps 33 year old female with Infertility

IUI success rate

What is the success rate for IUI?

Every couple is going to have a different reaction to IUI, and it can be tough to predict its success. Numerous variables affect the outcome, for example:

- underlying infertility diagnosis

- whether fertility medications have been used

- age

- any other inherent fertility concerns

Pregnancy rates after IUI are varied according to your reasons for requiring fertility treatment. Success rates for IUI are inclined to decrease in women over age 40, and in women who haven't gotten pregnant after three cycles of IUI. You should discuss your predicted success rate with your fertility specialist to find out if this a great option for you.

See: Ayurvedic treatment for Infertility

Who does IUI help?

Who does IUI help?

IUI is a relatively noninvasive and less-expensive fertility therapy compared to more invasive and expensive treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF). Sometimes, couples may start with IUI before progressing to IVF if desired. IUI might be the only treatment required to achieve pregnancy.

IUI can be performed with a male partner's sperm or donor sperm. IUI is most commonly used in these situations:

- low sperm count

- diminished sperm motility

- problems with ejaculation or erection

- unexplained infertility

- moderate Infection

- problems with the cervix or cervical mucus

- same-sex couples wanting to conceive

- one woman wanting to conceive

IUI is not effective in the following situations for women who have:

-  experienced both fallopian tubes eliminated or possess both fallopian tubes obstructed

- acute fallopian tube disease

- moderate to severe endometriosis

- experienced multiple pelvic infections

IUI is also not effective for men who produce no sperm In conditions where IUI is not recommended, another treatment like IVF might be beneficial. If you would like to go over options for conceiving, your physician can help determine the best path for you.

See: Ayurveda Helps with Infertility and Helps Bring Bundle of Joy

IUI risks

What are the dangers?

There's a small risk of infection following the IUI procedure. Your health care provider will use sterile instruments, so the disease is quite rare. If drugs are used to induce ovulation, there's a possibility of pregnancy with a number of babies. Since fertility drugs increase the probability that more than one egg is going to be released, they also increase the probability of pregnancy with multiples. Your physician will attempt to balance the amount and kind of medication, together with bloodwork and ultrasound monitoring, to prevent a lot of eggs from being released at one time.

Sometimes the ovaries over-respond to fertility drugs (especially the drugs given as injections) and a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome can result. A high number of eggs could be grown at one time and maybe published. This can lead to an enlarged ovary, fluid buildup in the abdomen, and cramping. In very rare cases, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome may lead to fluid buildup in the chest and stomach, kidney problems, blood clots, and twisting of the ovary.

See: Anxiety & stress in pregnancy natural remedies

Summary

There are many people who are unable to conceive naturally and opt for fertility treatments such as IUI. Today, thankfully, the advancement in science and technology, it is possible for couples to conceive and have a baby despite various fertility problems. The IUI procedure has a high success rate, and these IUI success tips can help you further boost your chances of conception.

See: Headache, Low Back Pain, and Stress with Bisoma Acupuncture

References

1. ESHRE Capri Workshop Group, 2009. Intrauterine insemination. Human Reproduction Update, 15(3), pp.265-277.

2. Ibérico, G., Vioque, J., Ariza, N., Lozano, J.M., Roca, M., Llácer, J. and Bernabeu, R., 2004. Analysis of factors influencing pregnancy rates in homologous intrauterine insemination. Fertility and Sterility, 81(5), pp.1308-1313. 

3. Campana, A., Sakkas, D., Stalberg, A., Bianchi, P.G., Comte, I., Pache, T., and Walker, D., 1996. Intrauterine insemination: evaluation of the results according to the woman's age, sperm quality, total sperm count per insemination, and life table analysis. Human Reproduction, 11(4), pp.732-736.

4. Ibérico, G., Vioque, J., Ariza, N., Lozano, J.M., Roca, M., Llácer, J. and Bernabeu, R., 2004. Analysis of factors influencing pregnancy rates in homologous intrauterine insemination. Fertility and Sterility, 81(5), pp.1308-1313.

5. Practice Committee of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 2012. Smoking and infertility: a committee opinion. Fertility and sterility, 98(6), pp.1400-1406.

6. Rooney, K.L., and Domar, A.D., 2018. The relationship between stress and infertility. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience, 20(1), p.41.

7. Peterson, B.D., Newton, C.R., and Feingold, T., 2007. Anxiety & sexual stress in men & women undergoing infertility treatment. Fertility and sterility, 88(4), pp.911-914.

8. Olive, D.L., 2010. Exercise and fertility: an update. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 22(4), pp.259-263.

9. Huang, F.J., Chang, S.Y., Chang, J.C., Kung, F.T., Wu, J.F. and Tsai, M.Y., 1998. Timed intercourse after intrauterine insemination for treatment of infertility. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology & Reproductive Biology, 80(2), pp.257-261.

10. Ben‐Meir, A., Burstein, E., Borrego‐Alvarez, A., Chong, J., Wong, E., Yavorska, T., Naranian, T., Chi, M., Wang, Y., Bentov, Y. and Alexis, J., 2015. Coenzyme Q10 restores oocyte mitochondrial function & fertility during reproductive aging. Aging cell, 14(5), pp.887-895.

11. Gleicher, N., Ryan, E., Weghofer, A., Blanco-Mejia, S., and Barad, D.H., 2009. Miscarriage rates after dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation in women with diminished ovarian reserve: a case-control study. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 7(1), p.108.

12. Chang, R., Chung, P.H., and Rosenwaks, Z., 2002. Role of acupuncture in the treatment of female infertility. Fertility and Sterility, 78(6), pp.1149-1153.

13. Gaskins, A.J., and Chavarro, J.E., 2018. Diet and fertility: a review. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 218(4), pp.379-389.

See: Yoga Helps You & Your Baby For Gestational Diabetes

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