Placing Sperm Directly into the Uterus
After taking fertility medication to stimulate your ovaries, our skilled doctors place millions of sperm into your uterus. Though sperm is introduced into your uterus, all the critical steps necessary for conception — including your fallopian tube picking up the ovulated egg and the sperm finding and successfully fertilizing the egg — occur without interference.
We often recommend IUI when:
- Cervical factors are suspected
- Mild to moderate reduction in sperm quality is detected
- Undergoing treatment for unexplained infertility
- Infertility is related to mild endometriosis
- Women are pursuing donor sperm insemination
What to Expect During Your IUI Procedure
You’re in good hands at RPSD. All our IUI procedures are performed by skilled doctors who are leaders in the field of fertility.
Getting Baseline Readings and Starting Medications
Your doctors will perform a baseline ultrasound on the third day of your menstrual cycle to ensure there are no ovarian cysts and that fertility medications can begin. After several days of taking the fertility medications, we perform another ultrasound to see how your ovaries are responding, observe the developing follicle(s), and measure the thickness of your uterine lining.
We will then schedule your IUI procedure based on the results of your ultrasounds, as well as your urinary LH (luteinizing hormone) testing kit.
Sperm Collection & Insemination
The day following the detection of the LH surge is when we perform your IUI procedure. On that day, we collect a semen sample from the male partner (or donor sample). We “wash” the sample in a special solution to remove dead, immotile sperm. The result is a sample with a higher concentration of motile sperm (sperm that are able to move) to increase their chances of reaching the fallopian tube, which is where fertilization occurs.
Your doctor will then insert a thin plastic catheter past your cervix to place the sperm sample directly into your uterus. Insemination typically takes around 5-10 minutes. Afterward, we recommend resting for another 5-10 minutes before going about your regular day.
After Your IUI Procedure
Side effects from IUI are rare but may include some cramping. The risk of complications is low and related mainly to the possibility of introducing infection. We typically administer an antibiotic at the time of your procedure to prevent infection.
Additionally, the use of fertility medications poses certain risks. These include ovarian hyperstimulation and the risk of multiple pregnancy. Our doctors will explain the risks before your procedure. As always, we encourage you to ask questions if there is anything you don’t understand or would like to know more about.
The chance of a successful IUI procedure resulting in pregnancy will always depend on the fertility factors surrounding each individual patient. However, we have found that IUI yields about a 5-10% pregnancy rate per cycle in couples, whereas the monthly conception rate without treatment might only be 1-3%. In conjunction with gonadotropin (an injectable hormone), IUI yields a 15-20% success rate.
While this “low tech” approach can prove successful, success rates in general are often higher with a “high tech” approach like in vitro fertilization (IVF), which bypasses many of the hurdles to fertilization. If you do not achieve pregnancy after 3-6 cycles of IUI, your doctor will likely discuss moving forward with IVF treatment.
Stories from Our Patients
We’re honored to help patients achieve their dream of growing their families. Here are a few of their success stories.
Fertility Education Center
Fertility Treatments and Your Lifestyle
The lifestyle you lead directly affects your fertility. From making healthy lifestyle choices to supplementing your intake of important nutrients, here are some key steps you can take outside the clinic to improve and maintain your chances of becoming pregnant.
Let’s Take the Next Step Together
Our skilled fertility specialists are here to help. Contact us today and let’s discuss the next phase of your fertility journey.