Our 31 best tips for a successful IUI will help you decide if IUI is right for you and provide you with success tips for your best IUI experience.
The best way to be successful at anything is to learn as much as you can about the topic.
Our tips are designed to educate and therefore empower you with your chances of success.
There are several things to consider when thinking about IUI and striving for a successful pregnancy, so let’s check them out below:
1. How Does IUI Work?
If you’re having problems becoming pregnant, intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a viable option and one of the first fertility treatments commonly tried. Artificial insemination was the prior name for the process, and it may be done without the need for fertility medicines. In the event that medicine is utilized, the patient should begin taking the fertility meds before the doctor performs the procedure.
Healthy sperm go through a “washing” process before being put directly into the uterus via a tiny tube during IUI. This moves them closer to the egg, increasing the chances of fertilization success.
Who Is a Good Candidate for IUI?
In comparison to more intrusive fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization, IUI is a non-invasive and less expensive technique.
It occurs frequently in circumstances such as:
- Cervical mucous problems or other cervix problems
- The sperm count is low
- A woman who is unmarried and wants to have a family
- Infertility that cannot be explained
- When a couple wants to keep their child from inheriting a genetic disease
- Ejaculation or erection problems
- Sperm motility is reduced
What Is the IUI Process?
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) necessitates meticulous planning prior to the procedure:
Obtaining a Sperm Sample for IUI
The sperm required for IUI can be obtained in a variety of ways. The most typical method is for the man to masturbate into a sterile glass or plastic cup given by the doctor’s office or an andrology laboratory, which specializes in male health concerns. During intercourse, sperm can be collected in a special condom provided by the doctor.
Sperm Washing for IUI
The process of separating the healthy, motile (swimming) sperm from the remainder of the sperm sample is known as sperm washing. A man’s sperm sample contains dead or nonmotile sperm, enzymes, proteins, and fluids that are undesirable for direct mixing with eggs or intrauterine insemination.
These healthy, motile sperm are then condensed into a sperm medium or solution that feeds and maintains them in preparation for fertilization of the egg.
Sperm washing is a process that involves centrifuging or spinning the sperm sample numerous times to extract the best sperm from the rest of the sample. Sperm washing was established after years of testing to provide the optimum sperm preparation.
Because the timing of IUI is so important, it’s necessary to keep an eye out for indicators of upcoming ovulation. You might accomplish this by using a urine ovulation predictor kit, which identifies when your body generates a spike or release of luteinizing hormone (LH).
Another means of monitoring ovulation is through what is called a transvaginal ultrasound. This is an imaging tool that allows your doctor to see your ovaries and egg development. You may also be given a pharmaceutical injection to help you ovulate one or more eggs at a preferred time.
What to Expect on IUI Day
Intrauterine insemination normally takes 15 to 20 minutes and takes place in a doctor’s office or clinic. The IUI technique takes only a few minutes and does not require any drugs or painkillers. The procedure is carried out either by your doctor or a properly trained nurse.
You will be asked to lie back on an exam table with your legs in stirrups. A speculum is inserted into the vaginal canal, similar to what you’d get during a Pap test. During the process, the doctor or medical practitioner will accomplish the following:
- Connects the end of a long, thin, flexible tube to a vial carrying a sample of healthy sperm (catheter)
- The catheter is inserted into the vaginal canal, then through the cervical opening, and into the uterus
- Pushes the sperm sample into the uterus through the tube
- The catheter is removed first, followed by the speculum
After the IUI Procedure
Sperm reach the ends of the tubes between 3 to 10 minutes after intrauterine insemination (IUI), according to prior research. After an IUI procedure, several clinics have adopted the practice of keeping patients lying motionless for ten minutes immediately after the IUI.
Once the procedure is over, you will get dressed and go about your normal daily activities.
You may have heard you need to abstain before IUI, but for how long?
2. What Is Artificial Insemination?
Artificial insemination is a technique where sperm is artificially injected into the female’s reproductive tract or uterus. It can be done with either fresh or frozen semen. This procedure has been around since the early 1900s but was largely abandoned due to a lack of understanding about how the male contributes to conception. However, recent advances in genetics have made this procedure more viable.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a form of artificial insemination and can be a successful means of conception.
3. IUI Over 40
The IUI success rate after 40 starts to significantly decline. For instance, the success rate of IUI for women between the ages of 40 and 42 is 9.8%. Reduced ovarian reserve is a common cause of lower success rates. IUI can still be a feasible choice before IVF, even if the number is low.
IUI may be a suitable alternative if the woman’s uterus is healthy but she has male-factor infertility issues. IUI is also less expensive and less taxing on the body. As a result, a few cycles of IUI may be effective.
4. How Many IUIs to Get Pregnant?
According to statistics, the majority of IUI pregnancies occur in the first three to four cycles of IUI. One research showed that 88 percent of successful IUIs occur after three cycles, and 95 percent occur within four. According to another study, 90% of IUI pregnancies occur within the first three cycles of IUI.
For your mental and financial well-being, knowing when to go on to more sophisticated therapy like IVF is critical. If you haven’t been successful after 3-4 IUIs, the success rate flattens out, and it’s statistically unlikely to succeed for you. IUI costs per live birth start to increase at this stage, making IVF the most cost-effective therapy on a per-live-birth basis.
5. How Many Times Should You Try IUI?
If you are under the age of 40, three rounds of IUI are usually recommended before attempting IVF therapy. If you’re over 40, your doctor may recommend that you just attempt one IUI cycle, if at all. If that cycle doesn’t work out, you should consider IVF.
6. Timed Intercourse vs IUI
Both timed intercourse and intrauterine insemination (IUI) have been shown to improve a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. After a year of frequent, unprotected sexual intercourse, a woman under 35 should undergo infertility diagnostic testing.
What Is Timed Intercourse?
A woman is fertile for around five days before she ovulates until 24 hours after ovulation during each monthly cycle. The sperm and egg have a restricted survival duration of 6 days (the ovulation window).
- The lifetime of sperm is 5 days.
- The lifetime of an ovum is 24 hours.
These are the six days in a woman’s menstrual cycle when she has the most chance of becoming pregnant. Intercourse timed to coincide with ovulation will increase conception rates.
If a woman has sexual activity five days before ovulating, she has a 10% chance of becoming pregnant. According to recent research, the risk of pregnancy after intercourse without ovulation prediction is around 13%. The likelihood of becoming pregnant after timed intercourse increases between 14 and 23 percent.
The chances of becoming pregnant increase continuously until two days before and including ovulation. The likelihood of conception drops dramatically 12 to 24 hours after ovulation towards the end of the ovulation window. Following this window, a woman is no longer able to conceive for the duration of that cycle.
Timed intercourse is one of the most straightforward and cost-effective treatments for assisting a couple in conceiving a child. Working with a fertility doctor to properly timing intercourse within a woman’s ovulation window is something to think about.
What is IUI?
The use of fertility medicines to increase the formation of numerous egg follicles and induce ovulation is common in IUI cycles, also known as artificial insemination. Medication (progesterone) may also be used to prepare the uterine lining for the fertilized egg’s implantation.
When timed intercourse fails, IUI is frequently offered as the first treatment option for unexplained infertility. Unexplained infertility occurs when a woman is unable to conceive after a year of regular, unprotected sexual contact.
Because a highly concentrated volume of morphologically normal, mobile, and active sperm is put directly into the woman’s uterus at the moment of ovulation, IUI significantly boosts a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant.
Is low sperm count a concern? Your questions are answered here.
7. IUI Success Rates
After 2-3 cycles, IUI has a 10–20% success rate. This may appear to be a modest amount, but at the age of 30, a healthy woman has a 20% chance of becoming pregnant each month.
The success rate of the IUI process is heavily influenced by the patient’s age. As you become older, your chances of getting pregnant diminish dramatically due to deteriorating egg quality. It’s possible that you’ll need several IUI cycles to conceive.
The following chart gives us an overall look at IUI success rates by age.
|35 or younger||13%|
|35 to 37||10%|
|38 to 40||9%|
|Over 40||3 to 9%|
8. Ovary Problems That Cause Infertility
Getting pregnant and bringing a pregnancy to term are both challenging tasks. There are several factors that can go wrong, resulting in infertility. Infertility can be caused by a variety of factors, including ovarian problems.
The inability to ovulate is the most prevalent cause of female infertility, occurring in 40% of women with infertility disorders. Ovulating problems can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Environmental and lifestyle considerations.
- Endocrine diseases, such as thyroid illness or hypothalamic difficulties, impact the hormones produced by the body, causing too much or too little of a hormone or collection of hormones to be generated.
- Primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) or polycystic ovary syndrome is an ovarian or gynecological disease.
- Aging, which includes “diminished ovarian reserve,” or a reduced quantity of eggs in a woman’s ovaries as a result of natural aging,
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a disorder in which a woman’s ovaries and, in some circumstances, adrenal glands generate more androgens (a kind of hormone) than usual, and is one of the most prevalent causes of female infertility.
The growth of ovarian follicles and the release of eggs during ovulation are both hampered by high amounts of these hormones. As a result, cysts (fluid-filled sacs) can form within the ovaries.
PCOS affects between 5% and 10% of women in the United States, according to studies. Although the specific basis of PCOS is uncertain, current research shows that the disorder is caused by a mix of hereditary and environmental factors.
Primary Ovary Insufficiency (POI)
POI occurs when a woman’s ovaries cease producing hormones and eggs at an early age. Due to ovary difficulties, women with POI ovulate infrequently, if at all, and may have aberrant amounts of ovarian and pituitary hormones.
Women with POI frequently have difficulty conceiving. Pregnancy is still possible, though it is uncommon. Without medical therapy, between 5% to 10% of women with POI become pregnant.
9. Male Factor Infertility
Male infertility can be caused by illnesses, injuries, persistent health issues, lifestyle choices, and other causes. IUI can help you conceive if your spouse has male factor infertility but no significant sperm issues. By bringing the sperm closer to the egg, the treatment improves spontaneous conception.
The inability to conceive a child is the most common symptom of male infertility, and there might be no other visible symptoms or indicators.
However, in other situations, signs and symptoms are caused by an underlying problem such as a hereditary ailment, hormonal imbalance, dilated veins around the testicle, or a condition that prevents sperm from passing through. You may notice the following signs and symptoms:
- Hair loss on the face or body, as well as other symptoms of chromosomal or hormonal abnormalities
- A sperm count that is lower than usual (fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen or a total sperm count of less than 39 million per ejaculate)
- Respiratory illnesses that recur
- Sexual function issues, such as difficulties ejaculating or ejaculating little amounts of fluid, decreased sexual desire, or problems with erectile dysfunction
- Breast development that isn’t typical
- Pain, swelling, or lump in the testicular region
- Inability to smell
You may have heard you need to abstain before IUI, but for how long?
10. Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Blocked fallopian tubes can be a contributor to the inability to get pregnant. For fertilization, sperm and an egg meet in the fallopian tube. They will likely be unable to join due to a plugged tube. Without therapy, pregnancy will be impossible if both tubes are completely obstructed.
You may be able to conceive if your fallopian tubes are partially occluded. The chance of an ectopic pregnancy, on the other hand, rises. This is because a fertilized egg has a tougher time moving past an obstruction to the uterus.
Because an egg can still pass through the unaffected fallopian tube if only one fallopian tube is closed, the obstruction is unlikely to influence fertility. Fertility medicines can help you ovulate on the open side more often.
While pregnancy is possible with only one blocked fallopian tube, the success probability is dependent on the position of the blockage on the obstructed tube. IUI has a success rate of 11.7 percent when the obstruction is closest to the ovary. The success rate is as high as 38.1 percent when the obstruction is closest to the uterus.
What Causes Blocked Fallopian Tubes?
Scar tissue or pelvic adhesions commonly restrict fallopian tubes. Many things can contribute to this, including:
- Ectopic pregnancy in the past in which the fallopian tubes may have residual scar tissue
- Past abdominal surgery near the fallopian tubes, particularly on the tubes themselves, results in pelvic adhesions that obstruct the tubes
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) where scarring may occur
- Fibroids. These growths have the potential to obstruct the fallopian tube, especially where they connect to the uterus
- Infections that are sexually transmitted (STIs). Scarring and pelvic inflammatory disease can be caused by chlamydia and gonorrhea.
11. Fertility Test for Women
If a woman has been actively trying to get pregnant for more than a year by having unprotected intercourse on a regular basis with her partner, she should seek fertility testing. After six months of attempting to conceive, a woman over the age of 35 should seek fertility testing.
Infertility affects both men and women equally, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, thus both couples should be evaluated.
Who Should Consider Fertility Testing?
Women with the following conditions may seek fertility testing in addition to those who have been unable to conceive for a year (six months if over 35):
- Male infertility is suspected or confirmed in a partner
- Heavy, irregular (more than 35 days between periods), or non-existent menstruation
- Issues with the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or uterus have been diagnosed
- Endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, or pelvic discomfort are all possible causes of endometriosis
- Miscarriages on a regular basis
What Types of Fertility Tests Are There for Women?
The fertility expert will inquire about the woman’s health and sexual history on the first visit. The physician must learn about the patient’s medical history in order to determine the reason for infertility.
A past sexually transmitted disease or irregular ovulation/menstrual cycles, for example, might be discovered by the doctor and be the cause of infertility.
Below are common tests your doctor may request for you:
Sonogram (Ultrasound Imaging)
Following the initial consultation, the fertility expert may do a sonogram of the woman’s pelvic area to discover if she has any reproductive concerns. An irregularly shaped uterus or cysts in the ovaries might be detected with a pelvic ultrasound.
Hormone Blood Tests
Blood tests are used to assess hormone levels in the blood at various stages during a woman’s menstrual cycle. A woman’s hormone levels must be regulated in order for an egg to mature and for the ovaries to release an egg.
The doctor who does the blood hormone test will see if the lady is generating good eggs and if the brain is transmitting hormonal signals to the ovaries appropriately.
A frequent test for women is to check their follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels on cycle day three (three days after their period begins). Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and estradiol are two more hormones that may be tested in the blood.
Ovarian Reserve Test
Ovarian reserve testing determines the number of eggs a woman has in her ovaries. An ultrasound or blood test may be used to assess ovarian reserve.
These tests are recommended if a woman is at high risk of having a depleted ovarian reserve. These risks include:
- Chemotherapy and other hazardous substances have been used in the past
- Early menopause in the family
- Previous reproductive surgery
- Has only one ovary
- Unexplained Infertility Diagnosis
- Previous gonadotropin ovarian stimulation
- Age 35 or older
Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive procedure in which the doctor uses a tiny incision in the belly button to insert a camera and small surgical equipment into the abdominal cavity. Endometriosis, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, and scar tissue can all be treated with laparoscopic surgery.
A saline solution is used to fill the uterine cavity and transvaginal ultrasound is used to generate a clear picture of the uterus during a sonohysterogram. This method aids in the diagnosis of uterine diseases and abnormal growths such as fibroids and polyps.
X-ray pictures of a woman’s fallopian tubes and the uterus are used in a hysterosalpingogram. A catheter (small tube) carrying dye will be inserted into the cervix by the fertility expert to assist the structure of the uterus and fallopian tubes show up on the X-ray.
This treatment can identify an abnormally shaped uterus and locate obstacles in the fallopian tubes or uterine cavity, such as polyps and fibroids.
A tiny camera put into the cervix is used to observe and diagnose polyps and fibroids in the uterus in this minimally invasive surgical procedure. Hysteroscopy can also be used to treat uterine abnormalities such as polyps, fibroids, uterine septa (split uterus), and scar tissue inside the uterus.
An ultrasound is a non-invasive method of examining a woman’s reproductive system that aids in the diagnosis of anatomic issues such as uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts.
12. How Many Ovaries Does a Woman Have?
Women have two ovaries, one on either side of the uterus. The ovaries produce eggs as well as hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. A woman’s ability to produce a child is assisted by these hormones.
13. Frozen Sperm vs. Fresh Sperm IUI
With IUI, both fresh and frozen sperm can be utilized to get pregnant. Fresh sperm, on the other hand, is normally preferred since it has a longer lifespan. Furthermore, they have a 24-36-hour survival time. The thawed sperm might last for 12 to 24 hours. As a result, in the IUI cycle, physicians prefer to use fresh sperm to boost your chances of pregnancy.
14. IUI Medication
Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) and aromatase inhibitors are common reproductive medicines used during IUI cycles (e.g., Letrozole). These medications will be started on the second, third, fourth, or fifth day following the first day of your period, depending on how early in your menstrual cycle you are.
Gonadotropins (e.g., hMG, Menopur, and FSH, Gonal-f, and Follistim) were once more often used with IUI but have since gone out of favor due to the unacceptably high risk of multiple gestations and maternal and fetal pregnancy problems.
hCG is frequently used to induce ovulation, with the IUI taking place between 24 and 36 hours afterward.
15. Is IUI Painful?
IUI is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require the use of pain medication or anesthesia. As the catheter is inserted into the cervix, patients may feel a mild pinching sensation similar to that felt during a standard pap smear, as well as a little cramping.
16. Exercising After IUI
After the IUI procedure, the patient can usually resume normal activities. Although bed rest is not required, activity should be reduced to a lower intensity. Premature contractions can occur as a result of intense activity, impeding implantation. Walking, yoga and mild aerobics are all good low-impact activities.
17. Twins From IUI
While IUI by itself does not increase the chance of twins, the use of fertility medicines does increase the probability of multiple pregnancy. When a woman produces numerous mature eggs at ovulation, more than one egg is more likely to be fertilized, resulting in twins or multiples.
18. At Home IUI
There are two types of artificial insemination that can be done at home: intracervical insemination (ICI), which involves putting sperm into the vaginal canal as would happen during intercourse; and intrauterine insemination (IUI), which is a procedure that involves injecting sperm directly into the uterus through a catheter that passes through the cervix.
Does At-Home Insemination Work?
Although at-home insemination can result in pregnancy, it is not the most successful approach available. According to a 2001 research comparing the two procedures, intrauterine insemination (IUI) is around three times more likely to result in a pregnancy than intracervical insemination.
Intracervical insemination is what most people perform at home; an IUI normally needs doctors’ instruments or experience.
Is It Cheaper to Do At-Home Insemination?
The main reason individuals choose at-home insemination is to save money. The average cost of in-office intrauterine insemination (IUI) is roughly $300. However, most patients must pay for sperm in order to do at-home insemination, which can cost up to $500 per vial, depending on the sperm bank.
Couples who have tried at-home insemination and failed may have an easier time convincing their insurance companies to support IUI or IVF in the future.
This is something to bear in mind if you ever need to do IVF. If you inform your doctor that you tried to inseminate at home and it’s documented in your medical records, an insurance company may not make you wait as long before paying for your procedures.
19. Unexplained Infertility
Unexplained infertility is a diagnosis given to infertile couples or individuals who have undergone all necessary testing but have not established a cause for their infertility. Unexplained infertility, also known as idiopathic infertility, is identified in about 15% of infertile couples.
Unexplained infertility is most usually caused by low egg or sperm quality, as well as uterine or fallopian tube disorders that aren’t detected through standard fertility tests.
Treatments for unexplained infertility that have shown to be effective include:
- Intercourse that is timed
- Intrauterine insemination and fertility medications (IUI)
- Changes in your way of life
- Stimulation of the ovaries
- IVF stands for in vitro fertilization (IVF)
20. Stress and Infertility
Stress is unlikely to be the sole cause of infertility. However, it might make it difficult for a woman to conceive. According to research, women with a history of depression are twice as likely to have infertility. Anxiety can also have a detrimental impact by lengthening the time it takes to conceive.
21. Abstinence Before IUI
The amount of time you should abstain before having an IUI depends on your situation, but it should not be more than 72 hours since your last ejaculation to guarantee ideal motility and morphology.
For the best fertilization rate for each cycle, one should abstain from ejaculatory abstention for two days prior to an IUI operation. According to studies, longer ejaculatory abstinence wait durations do not result in a higher pregnancy success rate.
If IUI is being done because of a low sperm count, it’s best to wait 48 hours between ejaculation and sperm collection for IUI.
Ejaculation should be avoided for 2-3 days before giving a sperm sample to improve sperm count and ensure that sperm are healthy and vigorous for an IUI. According to studies, 2-day abstinence produces the highest fertility rates.
22. Sperm Washing
Sperm washing is a type of sperm preparation that is necessary prior to intrauterine insemination (IUI) as it eliminates contaminants from the sperm that might induce negative uterine responses. Sperm is isolated from seminal fluid during the sperm-washing procedure. In situations of immune system problems, male-factor infertility, or unexplained infertility, this technique improves the fertilizing potential of the sperm.
23. Fertility Hormones
The 4 key female fertility hormones are:
- Oestradiol (oestrogen)
- Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
- Luteinising Hormone (LH)
Progesterone belongs to the progestogen hormone family of steroid hormones. It is an ovarian response hormone that works in tandem with oestrogen.
The corpus luteum generates progesterone when an egg is released. Progesterone inhibits the endometrium’s growth and prepares the uterus for the possible implantation of a fertilized egg.
The corpus luteum will degenerate and progesterone levels will drop if the egg is not fertilized. If you get pregnant, though, your progesterone levels will continue to grow. Later in the pregnancy, the placenta will become the primary supplier of progesterone, assisting in the pregnancy’s continuation.
The ovaries create oestradiol, which is a form of oestrogen. Oestradiol is a hormone that aids in the normalization of ovulation, conception, and pregnancy.
During the menstrual cycle, a woman’s oestrogen levels normally rise. This boost is what allows an egg to mature and be discharged from the ovaries. This egg can be fertilized by sperm after it is released. Oestrogen also helps the body prepare for pregnancy by thickening the uterine lining, which allows a fertilized egg to implant and grow.
Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
Follicular-Stimulating Hormone is one of two control hormones generated by the pituitary gland in the brain, the other being LH. FSH is involved in the menstrual cycle because it stimulates the development of ovarian follicles in the ovary before ovulation, as well as raising oestradiol production.
Luteinising Hormone (LH)
Along with follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone (LH) is a key regulatory hormone for sex steroid synthesis. It is created and released by the pituitary gland in the brain, just like FSH. LH is a critical hormone in women’s ovaries that regulates their activity.
The hypothalamus releases the gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH), which stimulates LH production. GnRH binds to pituitary gland receptors, causing them to generate and release LH. The hormone LH then goes to the ovaries and acts on them, causing them to create hormones that aid in the release of an egg from the ovary, a process known as ovulation.
24. Fertility Foods and a Healthy Diet
While no one food or fertility diet can suddenly increase your chances of conception, a nutritious and well-balanced diet may surely assist men and women to maintain general health, including reproductive health.
In women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), a prominent cause of female infertility, using cinnamon supplements can kickstart irregular menstruation cycles.
In a small but intriguing research, women with PCOS who took a daily cinnamon supplement had nearly twice as many menstrual cycles as those who took a placebo. More ovulatory regular cycles equal higher chances to conceive.
Salmon is high in essential fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which have been demonstrated to aid fertility in both men and women.
It also contains a lot of selenium and vitamin D. Selenium is an important mineral for sperm function, and low vitamin D levels have been linked to infertility in both men and women.
Vitamin C is abundant in pineapple. A one-cup serving provides 46% of your daily recommended amount. Vitamin C deficiency has been linked to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Bromelain, a natural enzyme found in pineapples, has anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant (blood-thinning) properties. Bromelain stimulates your immune system to leave the inflammatory condition behind.
Inflammatory foods can make it difficult to conceive, and persistent inflammation can cause the body to inhibit ovulation.
A majority of the iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin B12 in an egg comes from the yolk. They also have 100% of the vitamin A in an egg. In addition to the fertility-boosting omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, pasture-raised chicken egg yolks are high in fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are abundant in walnuts. This is one of the factors that prompted researchers to examine if they may help with fertility.
In a trial, 117 men were divided into two groups: one avoided tree nuts, while the other consumed 75 grams of walnuts per day.
The males gave a semen sample before the trial began and again 12 weeks afterward.
The group that ate walnuts exhibited an improvement in sperm vitality, motility, and shape after 12 weeks. After consuming the walnuts, they saw fewer chromosomal abnormalities in their sperm samples. There were no changes in the control group.
Pomegranates are high in antioxidants, which may help to increase the quality of sperm. 70 adult males who didn’t have healthy enough sperm to contribute to a sperm bank were given tablets containing pomegranate fruit extract and Galanga Root powder.
Sperm motility rose by 62% after three months of therapy.
Oysters are high in nutrients that promote fertility. Six raw oysters have just 139 calories, yet they include all of the following critical reproductive vitamins and minerals:
- 187 percent of your daily selenium requirement
- 43 percent of your daily iron requirement
- 408 percent of your daily vitamin B12 requirement
- 188 percent of your daily zinc requirement
Asparagus is an extremely nutrient-dense superfood. It’s low in calories, filling, and provides a boost of fertility-boosting nutrients. You’ll receive your entire daily intake of vitamin K, 60% of your daily value of folate, and more than 20% of other key nutrients including vitamin A, vitamin C, and the B vitamin thiamin in a one-cup serving.
Lentils and Beans
Beans and lentils are high in fiber and folate, which are both important for maintaining a healthy hormonal balance. Lentils also have a high concentration of polyamine spermidine, which may aid sperm fertilization.
Lentils and beans are also abundant in protein, which can aid with ovulation health. According to studies, consuming 5% of calories from vegetable protein rather than animal protein, such as chicken and red meats, reduces the risk of infertility owing to anovulation by over 50%.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, a potent antioxidant that can help you become more fertile. Lycopene’s possible significance in boosting male fertility has been extensively researched.
Important to note is that cooked tomatoes have twice as much lycopene as uncooked.
Supplementing with lycopene has even been investigated as a viable therapy for male infertility. Augmenting one’s diet with 4 to 8 mg of lycopene per day for 8 to 12 months enhanced sperm quality and boosted conception rates, according to one research.
One of the most nutrient-dense foods on the earth is liver, particularly cow’s liver. It’s high in fat-soluble vitamins, especially vitamin A, which is hard to come by in other foods.
Aside from being the best source of natural vitamin A, liver is also abundant in highly absorbable iron, which helps avoid miscarriage and maternal anemia, and vitamin B12, which is needed for optimal red blood cell and DNA production. Choline, omega-3 fatty acids, and folate are all plentiful in liver.
For those who can take it, pastured dairy is an excellent choice for fertility and pregnancy. Dairy has a lot of saturated fat, which is good for fertility. It’s also high in fat-soluble vitamins including A, E, D, K, and K2, as well as potassium.
According to Harvard research, women who ate full-fat dairy products were less likely to have ovulation issues than those who ate mostly low-fat dairy products.
Skim or low-fat milk, sherbet, yogurt, and cottage cheese were all considered low-fat dairy products in this study. Whole milk, ice cream, cream cheese, and other cheeses were examples of full-fat items.
Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruits and contains polyamine putrescine, which has been linked to improved egg and sperm health in animal studies.
Vitamin E, a vital nutrient, has been proven to increase sperm count and motility in some men. Sunflower seeds are also high in folate and selenium, both of which are essential for male and female fertility. Sunflower seeds contain minor levels of omega-3 fatty acids and are a strong source of omega-6 fatty acids.
Aged cheddar, parmesan, and manchego cheeses, for example, may help sperm health. Polyamines are abundant in mature cheeses. Polyamines are a kind of protein that may be found in both plant and animal sources. They are also found in humans naturally.
25. When to See a Fertility Specialist
If you are 35 or older and have been trying to conceive for six months without using birth control, you should consult a fertility doctor. If you’re over 40, you’re officially in the high-risk pregnancy group, and you should consult a reproductive doctor.
26. How Much Does Smoking Affect Fertility?
Smoking can have a detrimental impact on fertility, making it more difficult to conceive. Smoking has been shown to have a harmful effect on hormone production, as well as damaging the reproductive system and altering sperm DNA.
27. IUI and Acupuncture
There are those who opt to have acupuncture during the time of their IUI. These benefits follow:
- Lower uterine cramps to aid implantation and reduce the risk of miscarriage.
- Reduce cortisol levels and stress to boost LH and progesterone production.
- To boost responsiveness to stimulation, increase blood flow to the uterus and ovaries.
- To facilitate implantation, thicken the uterine lining.
Acupuncture can help increase IUI success rates by improving blood flow to the ovaries during a medicated cycle, relaxing the uterus to make it more receptive to the therapy, and treating uterine spasms that may arise after the procedure.
Acupuncture works in tandem with your doctor’s fertility meds to help you get the most out of them while also reducing negative effects. Acupuncture also relieves tension and anxiety, allowing your body to relax and heal.
28. Fertility Supplements
Infertility and reproductive treatments may be a tough road to travel, and it can feel as if we have no control at times. That’s why it’s critical to reclaiming control where we can, and regulating our food and supplement intake is a simple and non-invasive way to do so.
There is a lot of debate over whether or not using fertility supplements and vitamins may help you get pregnant. Everyone’s body is different and will react differently; some swear by them, while others don’t believe the findings are definitive.
We do know, however, that vitamins are necessary for all of our body systems, including our reproductive system. Vitamins are used in the following applications:
- Immune system health
- Quality and maturation of eggs
- Women’s menstruation and ovulation
- Energy generation
- Thyroid health
Consult a doctor before taking any supplements.
Fertility Supplements for Women
Let’s take a look at some supplements beneficial for women:
Folic acid Supplement
Advantages: Aids in pregnancy and fertility therapy outcomes
Dosage: Take 400-800mcg per day for at least a month before attempting to conceive.
Folic acid (also known as folate) is a B vitamin that is the synthetic equivalent of folate, which is produced naturally in the body.
A mutation in the gene for the enzyme that activates folic acid by converting it to folate is rather frequent. As a result, taking (methyl)folate rather than folic acid is preferred, as this is the active form of the vitamin.
Advantages: Aids in the prevention of anemia
Dosage: Approximately 27mg of iron per day
Ovulatory insufficiency and poor egg health can be caused by an iron deficit.
Advantages: It can help with period management, mental stability, and PCOS, among other things.
Dosage: Depending on your unique needs; if you’re thinking about taking inositol, talk to your doctor first.
Inositol is a carbohydrate that functions similarly to vitamins and can aid in the treatment of a variety of reproductive difficulties.
Advantages: It may help if you don’t get enough protein, so it’s good for vegetarians and vegans.
Dosage: 1000-2000 mg per day
L-Arginine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in the body and can aid in the thickening of the uterine lining.
Fertility Supplements for Men
Vitamin C Supplement
Advantages: Promotes sperm quantity and motility
Dosage: 90 milligrams.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help to protect cells all throughout the body from harm. It is considered to increase sperm count, motility, and overall quality.
Advantages: boosts sperm quality
Dosage: 2 g per day
L-Citrulline is an L-Arginine source that can assist increase the quality of sperm, from mobility to motility to quantity.
29. Intercourse After IUI
Because implantation doesn’t happen for another week following an IUI, there are minimal limits on intercourse for the couple. And actually, there may be some advantages to having intercourse after the IUI. Intercourse may be recommended on the evening following insemination during an IUI cycle.
This not only allows the couple to be close but may also improve the odds of fertilization by supplementing the sperm injected during insemination.
30. Risks of IUI
Following the IUI process, there is a slight chance of infection which is quite unlikely because your doctor will use sterilized tools.
There is a possibility of multiple pregnancies if drugs are used to promote ovulation. Because fertility medicines enhance the chances of more than one egg being released, they also raise the chances of multiple pregnancies. To avoid too many eggs being released at once, your doctor will strive to balance the amount and kind of medicine, as well as bloodwork and ultrasound monitoring.
When the ovaries overreact to reproductive medicines (especially those administered as injections), a disease is known as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome develops. It’s possible that a high number of eggs will develop at the same moment and then be released.
In rare cases, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome can cause fluid buildup in the chest and belly, renal issues, blood clots, and ovarian twisting.
If you’re on fertility medicine for IUI and you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, call your doctor right once.
- Severe pain in the abdomen or pelvis
- Breathing problems
- A rapid expansion of the abdominal cavity
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Vomiting and nausea
- Weight growth of more than 5 pounds in a short period of time
31. IUI and Prenatal Vitamins
A woman considering or planning on having the IUI procedure should be preparing her body for pregnancy. Vitamins guarantee that the mother gets all of the nutrition she needs to have a healthy pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins typically have higher folic acid and iron levels than everyday multivitamins. Folic acid is very important for children’s spinal growth.
When initiating family planning, women should begin taking prenatal vitamins. Prenatal vitamins will prepare the body even if the woman is not yet pregnant.
- Loma Linda University
- Mayo Clinic
- John Hopkins Medicine
- National Infertility Association
About the Author:
Trina Greenfield is passionate about providing information to those considering growing their family. Trina does not run an adoption agency. Her website is strictly information-based, so she is able to provide unbiased, credible information that she hopes will help guide those along their journey.