What is IUI (intrauterine insemination)?
Are you considering an intrauterine insemination (IUI), or artificial insemination procedure in order to treat your infertility?
IUI, which is sometimes referred to as artificial insemination, is an affordable fertility treatment option that helps many couples become pregnant.
IUI Process Step by Step:
At The Reproductive Medicine Group, your journey towards parenthood begins with fertility testing, evaluation, and diagnosis. One of our fertility experts works with you to develop a plan of care. Your fertility treatment plan sometimes includes IUI (artificial insemination). The process of insemination includes:
- Ovarian stimulation – Often, the doctor prescribes fertility medications that boost IUI success rates. Monitoring of your ovulation and cycle occurs. A fertility medication to trigger egg release helps the fertility doctor to correctly time the IUI procedure.
- The laboratory collects your partner’s semen or a chosen sperm bank ships the donor sample. – Your partner provides a sample of his semen or you will have The Reproductive Medicine Group order your selected donor sperm from the donor sperm bank. The laboratory medically washes and preps your semen or donor sperm.
- A specially trained nurse performs your IUI – The nurse draws up the washed sperm using a catheter. After the identification of the sample is confirmed, a speculum is placed (which is similar to when you have your pap smear). Next, the nurse threads the catheter through your cervix. Finally, the sperm is injected directly into the uterus.
Before you begin the IUI process, your fertility doctor meets with you in order to discuss the use of fertility drugs. If you need help to stimulate or enhance ovulation, your doctor prescribes fertility medications. During this cycle, you will be monitored via ultrasound/sonography and/or bloodwork. Your sonographer checks your ovaries for egg development and to determine timing. This maximizes your chances for success.
How is sperm prepared for IUI?
If you have a male partner, he provides a sample of his sperm. Most often, sperm collection occurs into a sterile cup provided by The Reproductive Medicine Group. Your partner masturbates at home or in one of our private collection rooms. Collection rooms are available at all four office locations. Alternatively, a special medical condom catheter is another option for collection, if needed. The sperm is washed and prepped for your IUI. This process improves the potential for IUI success by concentrating the sperm. This allows for the healthiest and most functional sperm a better chance to meet your egg. Thus, the concentration allows for an increased chance of pregnancy. The sperm washing takes approximately 45 minutes. Donor sperm arrives already washed and prepped for IUI.
What happens during the IUI procedure?
Inserting the sperm into your uterus takes very little time and is not painful. The process feels similar to having a pap smear.
During an IUI, you will lie in the same position as you normally would for your annual pelvic exam. A thin, flexible catheter is inserted into your cervix. The nurse inserts the concentrated sperm directly into your uterus.
After Your Insemination:
If you do not have a menstrual flow prior to 14 days after your insemination, you schedule an appointment with The Reproductive Medicine Group. Your fertility doctor gives a blood test to determine if you are pregnant.