Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the most common type of artificial insemination ““ and Boston IVF — The Albany Center has performed this procedure for over 15 years. For many fertility patients, IUI is the first option of treatment.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is an office procedure whereby the male partner provides a semen sample (or in the case of donor sperm, a sample is thawed) on the day of the woman’s ovulation. The sperm is then washed, analyzed, and prepared. A speculum and a small catheter are used to place the sperm directly into the uterus – and a pregnancy test is scheduled two weeks later.
IUI is recommended for the following issues:
• Ovulation Problems
• Mild male factor infertility
• Unexplained infertility
• Failed treatment with clomiphene without inseminations
The IUI Process
Step 1. Fertility drugs are administered to stimulate the growth of two to three eggs to maturity. Typically, Clomid® pills or gonadotropin injections are employed to nurture the growth of follicles, which cause ovulation to take place.
Step 2. Monitoring of the drug treatments is conducted to measure the growth of follicles and to control the drug doses based on the patient. Because fertility drugs can produce multiple eggs, monitoring is also needed to reduce the risk of multiple births. Blood tests are used to measure estrogen concentrations, and ultrasound is used to measure follicular development. Generally, the goal of an IUI treatment is to produce three to five mature follicles.
Step 3. When monitoring shows the maturity of at least two or three follicles, the patient receives an injection of the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), also known as Ovidrel®, which will induce ovulation.
Step 4. Here, the actual artificial insemination (IUI) procedure is performed. On the morning of ovulation, a sperm sample is provided by the male partner, prepared for the IUI, and injected later the same day. With a very fine catheter, the washed and concentrated sperm sample is inserted through the cervix, high into the uterus of the woman. The IUI procedure is fairly painless and uncomplicated.
Step 5. After the IUI procedure, pregnancy testing and early ultrasound monitoring are conducted at appropriate intervals.