It Is True To Say That IUI Procedure Is Painful
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Dr. Namita Kotia has been practicing infertility treatment at Aastha Fertility Care since 2010, and during this time, she has helped around 2000+ couples become parents through IVF treatment and also other assisted reproductive technology (ART) methods like ICSI, IUI, GIFT, etc. Dr. Namita provides her patients with the best possible care and treatment options.
Many women are struggling to get pregnant because of infertility issues, but not anymore. Thanks to Assisted Reproductive Techniques that have helped many women to get pregnant and given hope to many others. IUI is a type of Assisted Reproductive Technique that stands for Intrauterine Insemination. IUI is a fertility treatment in which sperm is directly put into the woman’s uterus in order to increase the chances of conceiving. IUI is one of the best ways for a woman to conceive who is facing infertility issues. While many people think that IUI is a painful process, it is a very safe and painless method to conceive for a woman who cannot do the same through natural ways.
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What is intrauterine insemination (IUI)?
Intrauterine Insemination is the placing of sperm directly into the woman’s uterus through the cervix, which helps healthy sperm to get closer to the egg. Basically, because of this process, the time and distance sperm have to travel reduces, making it more hospitable to fertilize the woman’s egg. IUI is usually the first Assisted Reproductive Technique that many doctors suggest. This treatment is often taken by LGBTQ+ families/couples and couples facing the following problem:
- Unexplained infertility: IUI is the first procedure the doctor advises when they cannot determine the reason for infertility.
- Donor sperm: A woman could need donated sperm if husband has Primary testicular failure or if a couple does not wish to transmit any genetic disorder to their child.
- Mild male factor infertility (subfertility): When the quality of your partner’s sperm is below average, then also IUI is the first solution a doctor suggests because when they prepare the sperm for the process, they separate highly motile and normal sperm from those of lower quality.
- Endometriosis-related infertility: When a woman has any infertility issue because of Endometriosis, the first approach doctors take is performing IUI and using medications to achieve a good-quality egg. Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus.
- Ovulatory factor infertility: In the case when ovulation fails to occur or occurs infrequently, IUI is the first treatment approach considered by doctors.
- Semen allergy: When a woman is allergic to the proteins present in semen which happens in sporadic cases, then also IUI is the best approach for the treatment. IUI can be effective since before inserting the semen; doctors can remove the proteins from the semen.
- Cervical factor infertility: If the cervical mucus is too thick, it can hinder the sperm’s journey. In IUI, sperm bypasses your cervix, depositing sperm directly into your uterus, which increases the number of sperm available to meet the awaiting egg. That’s why IUI is a good option for women with cervical factor infertility.
IUI Procedure Step-by-Step
IUI has given hope to many women around the world and is less invasive than other infertility treatments. Let us know more about IUI procedure and go through the step by step procedure:
- Oral or injectable medications are given to the woman to incite the growth and maturation of her eggs.
- The IUI procedure is further carried within 24-36 hours of ovulation; that is why a woman has to keep track of her ovulation cycle. Transvaginal sonography are done to monitor the ovaries and egg development. Once a ripe egg is present, the woman receives a trigger shot that causes ovulation within 36 hours.
- Embryologist wash sperm to remove prostaglandins, infectious agents, antigenic proteins, non-motile spermatozoa, immature germ cells, etc., to bring out the quality sperm.
- The Fertility expert then inserts the sperm into the patient’s uterus using a long thin tube called a catheter in medical terms. The sperm is inserted into the uterus through the vagina, passing through the cervix area. The catheter releases the sperm into your uterus in the hope of carrying out its further journey towards the eggs successfully.
- The last step is to take a pregnancy test after a few days of insemination.
IUI has a reasonable success rate. The success rate of intrauterine 38.1% IUI is cheaper than IVF and is also less time-consuming when compared to IVF.
What To Expect After IUI?
Following insemination, you rest on your back for a short while. After the procedure, you may dress and resume your normal activities.
Some may have spotting following the IUI process. Yet, this results from irritation of the vaginal and cervix’s fragile tissues, which should not be confused with implantation bleeding.
Seven to eleven days following the IUI process, one might anticipate implantation bleeding. When the egg implants in the uterine wall, implantation happens. Initial spotting often stops after three days. Call your fertility specialist immediately if the bleeding does not subside or if you are having cramps or discomfort. However, they are pretty unusual, so don’t worry about this.
Is IUI Procedure Painful?
The IUI procedure takes only five to ten minutes, and it is not supposed to hurt. No painkillers or anesthesia is given to the patient because most of the women do not face any discomfort. In some cases women face pain that is very mild, and any woman can handle it. The female patient might experience cramping or minor bleeding during or after the procedure; in these cases it is advised to visit consult the doctor.
– Pain Associated with IUI
During or following an IUI, most women experience cramps. This is quite common and may result from the following:
During IUI, cramping often occurs when the catheter is introduced into the cervix and when injecting the sperm. This cramp is typically short. The moment the specialist removes the catheter, it should subside.
Following IUI, some women feel cramps. The catheter can occasionally irritate the uterus, causing mild cramping.
Additionally, ovulation might induce stomach cramps. If you are ovulating multiple follicles, primarily due to ovulation-inducing medicine, this may intensify ovulation discomfort or cramping.
A few days following IUI, the cramping may indicate implantation or that your body is preparing for your menstruation. It does not indicate whether or if you are pregnant.
– Cramping and Light Bleeding
In some instances, you may have unbearable discomfort that you cannot bear following the IUI process. So this is an indication that you should immediately contact your specialist and describe all of your complaints. Note that fertility procedures such as IUI and IVF need particular attention from beginning to completion.
If IUI successfully results in pregnancy, several women may notice mild spotting one week after the treatment. Light spotting, also known as implantation bleeding, is a common early pregnancy sign that may be followed by cramping.
Implantation bleeding starts approximately 6 to 12 days after the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining. Consequently, implantation bleeding may begin between 6 and 12 days after IUI.
It is crucial to remember that implantation bleeding occurs about the same time as menstruation if there is no pregnancy, and implantation bleeding is not the same as menstruation.
Implantation bleeding is irregular, while menstrual bleeding begins mild and becomes heavier.
Consult your specialist immediately if this cramping worsens and you also have abnormal vaginal discharge, fever, heavy bleeding, or severe pain.
– Hot Flashes and Pinching Pain
You may also get hot flashes when taking ovulation stimulants as prescribed. In addition, when the device is put into your vagina during the IUI, you may feel a pinching sensation. Yet, it subsides as soon as the doctor removes the speculum.
– Ovarian Induction
IUI is effective because it substantially shortens the distance sperm must travel to contact an egg. Yet to boost the success rate of IUI, fertility clinics often combine it with ovarian induction.
To induce ovulation, the doctor prescribes fertility drugs to encourage the maturation of one or more follicles, each containing an egg. Additionally, fertility medicine enables to induce of ovulation to align it with the IUI technique better.
– Is Ovarian Induction Painful?
For some patients, the ovarian induction process might not be painful. Yet, it may cause discomfort. The method of administering fertility injection to induce ovulation is via injections. However, the needle used is very delicate and tiny. Furthermore, it doesn’t require injecting into the muscles; so these may not cause much irritation. Yet, the patients, sensitive to injections, may find this process challenging.
– Ovarian Induction Side Effects
Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), wherein the ovaries enlarge and become painful, may happen during ovulation induction if the medication dosage is more than the body could easily handle. Most instances are minor, with symptoms including abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea, and these side effects equal what a woman could encounter throughout her menstrual period. Even though this may produce discomfort, patients must not suffer extreme pain.
IUI is the first infertility treatment that a doctor suggests as it is affordable and less invasive. It is a great way to see how a woman’s body will react before going to IVF without wasting an ovulation cycle. The success rate of IUI is also commendable. Aastha fertility care is one of the best fertility centers for IUI treatment. They provide you with the best treatment with utmost care under the supervision of highly experienced doctors and nurses. The success rate of Aastha fertility care is remarkable. Take a step towards your dream of being pregnant with Aastha fertility care.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How is IUI different from IVF?
The critical difference between IVF and IUI is that in IUI, the fertilization takes place inside of a woman’s body in her fallopian tube. In the case of IVF, the fertilization takes place outside a woman’s body in a petri dish, and then the fertilized egg is placed into the woman’s uterus.