Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is one of the common assisted reproductive techniques (ART) chosen by many couples who are unable to conceive naturally. The IUI procedure involves collecting sperm from a male partner and then it is washed, processed, and unwanted elements are removed. Now, the washed sperm is directly injected into the woman’s uterus for fertilization. This will increase the number of sperms reaching the fallopian tubes and thereby increase the chances of fertilization.

Who Can Undergo IUI Procedure?

IUI is recommended for couples who have any of the following issues:

  • A low sperm count
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Cervical issues
  • Low sperm motility
  • Couples who need a donor sperm 
  • Same sex couples who are willing to have a child

What Factors Determine the Success of an IUI Procedure?

It is difficult to predict the outcome of an IUI procedure. This is because each case is different and each couple responds differently to the procedure. However, the following are the common factors that affect the success of an IUI:

  • The ovarian reserve
  • The cause of infertility
  • The overall health of the couple
  • The sperm parameters
  • The woman’s age
  • Unidentified fertility issues

How Do I Know If IUI Has Failed?

There are no particular signs that indicate an IUI failure. The following are some of the signs to look for:

  • Abortion: If there are any issues in the quality of the egg and sperm, it can lead to chromosomal abnormalities and this can lead to an abortion.
  • Unusual vaginal discharge: If you experience unusual vaginal discharge, severe cramps, or discomfort, you should visit your doctor.
  • Menstrual signs: If you start noticing signs of periods such as cramps, mood swings, etc. it is an indication that IUI has failed.
  • A negative pregnancy test: If your period is late, but the pregnancy test is negative, then IUI might not have led to pregnancy.

Every person’s body is not the same and the signs you experience may be different from others. Hence, it is always advised to visit your doctor to know if IUI is successful.

What Causes an IUI to Fail?

The following are some of the common reasons for an unsuccessful IUI:

  • Poor egg quality: As you get older, the quality of eggs starts declining. Poor egg quality can lead to chromosomal abnormalities and eventually lead to a failed IUI.
  • Ovarian reserve: If the number of eggs in the ovaries is low, the chances of IUI success reduce.
  • Age: As the maternal age increase, the quality of eggs reduces and it affects the fertilization process. Hence, IUI is not suitable for women who are above 40 years of age.
  • Poor sperm quality: If the sperm quality is poor, fertilization cannot take place and IUI fails. Hence, before deciding on IUI, the doctor performs semen analysis to determine the quality and quantity of sperm.
  • Time of fertilization: Once ovulation takes place, the egg remains in the fallopian tube for 12 to 24 hours. If sperm is not available at this time to fertilize the egg, the egg will disintegrate. Hence, the IUI procedure should be timed correctly by tracking ovulation.
  • Endometrial lining: For the embryo to get attached to the uterus lining, it requires a strong uterine lining. If the endometrial lining is inadequate or thin, the fertilized egg cannot get attached to it. The thickness and quality of the endometrial lining are evaluated before performing an IUI.
  • Low levels of progesterone: Progesterone is important for supporting pregnancy in the early stages. If progesterone levels are low, it can cause an IUI failure.
  • Underlying medical issues: If you have underlying medical issues such as a blocked or damaged fallopian tube, then IUI may not be successful.

What Happens After IUI Failure and What Are My Options?

If IUI fails, it may not show signs. If your IUI has failed, then the next step is abortion. This will activate your menstruation and you will get your periods. It is important to work with your doctor to develop a treatment plan.

If IUI has failed for 3 or 4 cycles, and if you are above 35 years of age, then the doctor recommends other fertility treatments such as IVF, ICSI, etc. Both IVF and ICSI are proven to overcome IUI failure and can increase your chances of conception.

Looking for Infertility Treatment in Hyderabad? Meet Fertility Specialists at Angels Fertility Center Today

If you decide on fertility treatments, it is important to seek medical advice. The fertility specialists at Angels Fertility can guide you whether infertility treatments such as IUI, IVF, etc. are suitable for you. We understand that going through fertility treatments can be stressful. We will be there with you in your every step towards parenthood. We also discuss about the success rate, possible risks, and the costs involved in each treatment to help you make the right decision. If you have any fertility issues, do not hesitate to meet fertility doctors at Angels Fertility Center.