Artificial insemination in the form of intrauterine insemination is among the mainstream, fertility treatment options sought by infertile women or couples struggling to conceive in a natural manner. Intrauterine insemination is a non-invasive procedure wherein the sperm is artificially inserted into the woman's uterus to ensure fertilization. However, women planning to undergo intrauterine insemination can be apprehensive about the entire process. These apprehensions can be resolved to a certain extent by getting acquainted with the period preceding the actual day of the procedure or the preparatory phase of IUI.
Any woman scheduled for an IUI should be prepared for:
Constant Communication with Fertility Specialist
Fertility clinics providing IUI services tend to prepare an exhaustive regimen for the patient that includes ovulation charts, regular check-up dates and even the time of admission on the scheduled day of treatment. The timing of the ovulation and the insertion of the sperm need to be closely monitored. Usually, the procedure is scheduled a few hours after or before the ovulation on the scheduled date. However, the scheduled date itself might be postponed or fast-tracked depending upon any unforeseen changes in the menstrual cycle or hormonal patterns of the patient. Thus, it is critical that the patient and the specialist are in constant communication to ensure that the timing of the procedure is planned to precision. The patient might be asked to provide weekly or daily updates about her reproductive health.
Repeated Testing and Medication Regimen
Sometimes, tests are preformed to ensure that the ovulatory cycle doesn’t present any last-minute problems. These include blood tests, vaginal ultrasounds and the use of various kinds of home-detection kits. Women struggling with ovulation or those with a history of menstrual disorders are often put on ovulation-inducing drugs. The other option is to administer an injection of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hormone to induce ovulation.
However, the use of drugs or hormonal supplementation is the last option. The first option is to closely monitor the menstrual cycle and note the repeating patterns. Usually, a favorable time for the insemination can be decoded from this observation. The patient should be willing to take some basic measurements at home as a part of this observation period. This includes checking the basal body temperature and the changing patterns in vaginal mucus. Some women like to use ovulation kits for this purpose since the packaged instruction make the observation a lot easier.
Canceled Visits and Unplanned Waiting
It is highly likely that things don’t progress as per the schedule on the finalized date. It is common for patients being re-scheduled if the ovulatory cycle hasn’t progressed in the expected manner. Sometimes, the procedure is delayed since the motility of the sperm doesn’t seem to be up to the required standards. This creates a scope for some frustration in the form of unscheduled waiting at the clinic and some last-minute cancellations.
If the patient’s partner is providing the sperm, he should be prepared for:
Sperm Deposition and Testing
The overall health of the sperm is integral to the success of intrauterine insemination. For this purpose, the partner is asked to provide samples of his semen. The usual method involves collecting the semen in a container provided by the fertility clinic. If the sample shows presence of sexually transmittable diseases, medications for a few weeks are recommended.