Overview of IUI
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that can reach the Fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization. IUI provides the sperm an advantage by giving it a head start, but still requires a sperm to reach and fertilize the egg on its own. It is less invasive and less expensive option compared to IVF.
The most common reason for IUI maybe a low sperm count or decreased sperm motility. However IUI may be selected as a fertility treatment for any of the following conditions:
- Unexplained infertility (read more)
- A hostile cervical condition, including cervical mucus problems
- Same sex couples
- Donor sperm conception
- Cervical scar tissue from past procedures which may hinder the sperms ability to enter the uterus
- Ejaculation dysfunction
- Closed cervix
Factors Effecting Egg Quality
Blood flow to the ovary can be compromise through stress which is a factor to just about everything or age. As we age blood flow to our reproductive organs is reduce. Not providing the nourishment needed for a healthy egg. Blood flow, nourishment and hormones within the body influence the health of the follicles.
Poor diet begins to show its effects the older a woman becomes. If nourishment is poor, hormonal cues have been interrupted, or if the blood flow has been compromised the egg has less chance of being healthy. Acupuncture, massage, pplements and herbs can all help to nourish the existing eggs.
IUI Is Not Recommended for the Following Patients
Women who have severe disease of the fallopian tubes. Women with a history of pelvic infections or with moderate to severe endometriosis. It is also not advisable to carry out too many IUI treatments. If this is the case further investigation may be needed.
Overview Of IVF
The procedure begins in the month preceding the actual ART cycle. An IVF cycle typically includes the following steps or procedures:
- Medication to grow multiple eggs
- Retrieval of eggs from the ovary or ovaries
- Insemination of eggs with sperm
- Culture of any resulting fertilized eggs (embryos)
- Placement (transfer) of one or more embryos into the uterus
- Support the uterine lining with hormones to permit and sustain pregnancy
The success of IVF largely depends on growing multiple eggs at once and selecting the best eggs for implantation. While my explanation above is simple, the process is very complicated.
Who May Be a Candidate for IVF
It is generally recommended for couples who have failed to conceive after at least one year or more of trying
- Blocked Fallopian tubes or pelvic adhesion's with distorted pelvic anatomy,
- Male factor infertility (low sperm count or low motility
- History of multiple failed ovarian stimulation with IUI
- Advanced female age
- Reduce ovarian reserve which means lower quantity and quality of eggs
- Severe endometriosis
- Unexplained infertility
- Special circumstances such as hereditary
- Now days stress is a major factor
Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture Can Improve IVF / IUI Outcome
- By increasing blood flow to reproductive areas
- By improving ovarian function
- By approving egg quality
- Thicken the uterine lining
- Calming the uterus to prepare for implantation
- Help with stress and side effects of the drugs given
- Increase implantation rates
Preparation for IVF
Ideally we like to see a patient for 3 months or more to prepare for IVF. During this treatment time we concentrate on regulating the cycle and treating any underlying patterns of disharmony. Sometimes we only see the patients for a month or so before their first IVF. If that procedure is unsuccessful we can sometimes encourage them to prepare with longer time treatments before the next medicated cycle. There are times that we only see a patient for embryo transfer. Which we treat before and after transfer only. We always carry out our intake and decide on the best treatment plan for our patient’s diagnosis. Successful IVF/IUI outcome depends on the quality of the eggs, sperm and the resulting embryo. Endometrial thickness and receptivity are also important for IVF/IUI success.