Intrauterine insemination is the process by which concentrated sperm are inserted directly into the uterus shortly after ovulation. The purpose of this is to bring the sperm and the egg together in closer proximity to help ensure a normal pregnancy. It can be used either as a standalone infertility option or in conjunction with infertility medications. While intrauterine insemination can be very effective, there are a few things that can be done afterward to help ensure the best possible outcome. Here are some of the things that patients should keep in mind after their intrauterine insemination procedure.
1. Lay Down
Immediately after the intrauterine insemination procedure is completed, patients are instructed to lie on their back. Many patients mistakenly believe that the reason for this has to do with gravity and ensuring that the sperm do not "fall out." However, after the intrauterine insemination has taken place, the cervix will remain closed, so there is no way for the sperm to escape. The sole purpose of lying down after the procedure is to allow the body to rest, relax and proceed with its normal functions.
Another misconception about intrauterine insemination is that patients should not have intercourse after the procedure. On the contrary, most physicians actually encourage intercourse after intrauterine insemination. Physical contact actually helps promote the ovulation cycle, so intercourse is one of the primary tools for ensuring a positive outcome after intrauterine insemination. Furthermore, by continuing with physical contact, there is a higher likelihood that the experience will result in pregnancy.
The only time that a physician would not recommend intercourse after intrauterine insemination would be if the patient were to experience a significant amount of bleeding. Even in cases of prolonged bleeding, however, intercourse can typically resume within 48 hours after the procedure.
3. Return to Normal Activity
Yet another misperception about intrauterine insemination is that patients should take it easy or avoid participating in their normal activities. In fact, doctors often recommend that patients to return to their normal activities and avoid stressing over becoming pregnant. Again, the body needs to be in a totally relaxed, stress-free state to get the best outcome after intrauterine insemination. Avoiding activities and dwelling on pregnancy issues only adds to the patient's stress level, which can make intrauterine insemination less effective. In some cases, a physician may instruct the patient not to participate in strenuous exercises for 48 hours if the patient is experiencing intermittent, persistent bleeding.
4. Stress-Free Activities
On a similar note, it is important that intrauterine insemination patients take part in stress-free activities that will clear the mind and encourage total-body health. This can be done by getting back into an old hobby like crafting or reading, taking a long walk at sunrise, practicing yoga, watching a favorite TV comedy or even relaxing in a nice bubble bath. By finding something to relax the mind, the rest of the body will be in a relaxed state as well, and this can be used to achieve a positive outcome after intrauterine insemination.