During an intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedure, sperm is placed directly into the uterus using a small catheter. The goal of this treatment is to improve the chances of fertilization by increasing the number of healthy sperm that reach the fallopian tubes when the woman is most fertile.
IUI can be helpful for:
- Couples experiencing infertility due to medical conditions (e.g., endometriosis or low sperm count or quality).
- Couples with unexplained infertility.
- Same-sex female couples using donor sperm.
- Single women wishing to start a family with donor sperm.
IUI is a widely used treatment option because it is a minimally invasive, lower-cost alternative to in vitro fertilization (IVF), and it can be conveniently performed in our clinic.
IUI Treatment: What to Expect
At your initial consultation, you will meet with one of our fertility specialists to review your medical history and your family building goals. We will then order diagnostic tests, such as a saline infusion sonogram (SIS) or a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), to make sure your fallopian tubes are open and your uterus appears normal. This information is important to help us to know what fertility treatment will be most beneficial for you.
IUI treatment is performed during an ovulation cycle. Most commonly, patients will take a fertility medication, such as Clomid, to stimulate ovulation. We will prescribe your medication and monitor you closely with regular ultrasounds and bloodwork to determine the best time for your insemination procedure.
Once your ovulation window is determined, your partner will provide a sperm sample to our andrologists, or if you are using donor sperm, the andrologists will prepare the sperm sample provided by the third-party agency. We will then perform a special technique called a sperm wash on the samples in the laboratory to obtain the best quality sperm.
Your IUI treatment will take place at our office in Green Spring Station. During the procedure, your doctor will first insert a speculum to view your cervix (opening to the uterus), somewhat like having a Pap smear. Then, we will insert a small tube — specially designed for IUI — to place the final semen sample into your uterus. The process takes only a few minutes and is generally painless. Some women experience mild cramping during the procedure and spotting for one to two days after the procedure. You can return to your normal daily activities, including intercourse, after the procedure.
Two weeks following IUI, you will take a pregnancy test to see if the procedure was successful. If you are pregnant, we will monitor your pregnancy closely via bloodwork and ultrasound. If your test is negative, we will prepare for a new treatment cycle or consider other treatment options.