Intrauterine insemination (IUI) deposits sperm directly into the uterus to increase the chance of conception. IUI offers promising results and success rates to those who have had a difficult time becoming pregnant. However, since IUI is a completely new experience for most patients, it can also be a little scary.
One of the most common questions we get is whether IUI will be painful. Here we prepare patients for side effects that they may experience when undergoing IUI.
IUI is minimally invasive, and patients do not even require pain medication or anesthesia during treatment. Patients may experience a slight pinching experience (similar to that experienced during a routine pap smear) and a little cramping as the catheter is passed through the cervix.
The IUI procedure takes just a matter of minutes, so any discomfort should be short-lived.
IUI is one of the most straightforward and least invasive fertility techniques. The procedure typically takes less than 15 minutes. During treatment, a thin flexible catheter is inserted into the vagina and through the cervix so that it reaches the uterus. The catheter is used to release a collected sperm sample.
Following IUI, patients may experience light bleeding or spotting. If bleeding occurs, it should not cause any pain, and it should not last for more than a day or two.
IUI can be successful on its own, since it significantly reduces the distance that sperm need to travel to reach an egg. However, to increase the likelihood of IUI success even further, we often combine it with ovarian induction.
Ovarian induction relies on fertility medication to stimulate the development of one or more mature follicles, each of which contains an egg. Fertility medication also allows us to trigger ovulation so that we can align it with the IUI procedure.
Most of our Scottsdale patients do not describe ovarian induction as painful, but it can cause some discomfort. The fertility medications used to induce ovulation are often administered via injection. The needle used is very small, and the shots do not need to be injected into the muscle, so injections should not cause too much irritation. However, this process can be more difficult to those of our patients who are sensitive to shots.
Ovarian induction may also cause minor side effects such as cramping, bloating, and headaches. These side effects are similar to those a woman may experience during her normal menstrual cycle. Again, while this can cause some discomfort, patients should not experience pain.
If you would like to find out more about IUI treatment and whether it can address your fertility problems, the doctors at Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health would be happy to help. Send us a message online at your earliest convenience, or call (480) 860-4792 to schedule a personal consultation.