Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a procedure in which the sperm is placed directly into the uterus, where it then hopefully will swim through the fallopian tubes to the egg, resulting in pregnancy.
There are several reasons IUI might be necessary. The most common reason is due to mild male factor infertility. Many men have a low sperm count that inhibits pregnancy from occurring naturally. IUI places the sperm in the uterus already so it’s that much closer to the egg. Other factors that might cause you to consider IUI are cervical infertility, a semen allergy, or unexplained infertility.
IUI is a simple procedure, but it requires precise planning beforehand. Your doctor will be monitoring you for ovulation as well as the optimal timing to perform IUI. Your doctor may use a transvaginal ultrasound that lets him or her visualize your ovaries and egg growth. Your body releases hormones just before you ovulate, at which point the IUI would be performed. If you are on a hormone to help stimulate the growth of your eggs, you may be given another hormone to help you ovulate, during which time you would undergo IUI.
On the day that the IUI is to take place, you will either have your partner provide a sperm sample at the facility or frozen sperm can be thawed. The sperm is then washed, which cleans it of other fluids and weaker sperm that inhibit the stronger sperm. The sperm is inserted into your uterus with the use of a long, flexible tube called a catheter. The entire procedure takes about 15 minutes. After about two weeks, you will take a pregnancy test to determine whether the IUI was successful.
To find out more information about IUI or to contact someone from our Maine facility, call (207) 358-7600. We look forward to partnering with you on your journey to parenthood.