Intrauterine insemination, or IUI, is a safe office procedure and often one of the first fertility treatments for individuals and couples who wish to become pregnant.
IUI relies on the natural ability of sperm to fertilize an egg in the fallopian tube. Studies show that IUI will not be as effective in cases where the male has an abnormal semen analysis. A semen analysis will confirm the health of the male partner’s sperm.
From start to finish, an IUI office procedure takes just a few minutes, requires no anesthesia, and is like a Pap smear. It’s a simple, quick path for specially-prepared sperm to enter a woman’s uterus via a small catheter. The timing of the procedure is based on a woman’s ovulation for the highest possibility of pregnancy.
The goal of this treatment is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tube and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization. IUI essentially provides sperm with a “head-start” advantage, but still requires the sperm to reach and fertilize the egg on its own.
When To Choose IUI
- Women experiencing unexplained infertility
- Women/couples who require the use of donor sperm
- Lesbian family building
- Mild male factor infertility
- Women experiencing ovulation problems
Fertility Medications & IUI
Depending on your fertility diagnosis, IUI can be coordinated with your normal menstrual cycle or with fertility medications. By increasing egg production with medication, IUI can increase a woman’s chance of conception.
Those with endometriosis and unexplained infertility are among the populations who most benefit from the combination of fertility medication and IUI.
During normal ovulation, a woman usually releases one egg from her ovaries. To increase the chance of fertilization and pregnancy with IUI, she may be given fertility medications at the start of her menstrual cycle to encourage multiple egg release.
Along with our medical team, you will monitor and track your ovulation cycle. When ovulation nears, we will utilize ultrasound to confirm ovulation. Your doctor will map out a customized treatment plan, in terms of the timing of your IUI procedure, which usually occurs within a day or two of ovulation.
Semen Preparation/Semen Analysis
As ovulation occurs, a sperm sample from either a donor or the male partner will be prepared in our laboratory for insemination.
Once collected, the semen sample is then “washed” in the laboratory to concentrate the sperm and remove the seminal fluid (seminal fluid can cause severe cramping in the woman).
The IUI procedure itself is relatively simple and can begin once the semen sample is ready. From start to finish, the IUI takes twenty minutes, and you are welcome to continue about your day after the procedure has concluded.
After two weeks, you will return to NewLifeFertility for a blood test, which is more sensitive to pregnancy hormones after fertilization than a standard “at-home” pregnancy test.
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