Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a relatively simple procedure done to treat mild to moderate male factor abnormalities in conjunction with other treatments for infertility.
The male partner produces a sample just as with the semen analysis; however, on this visit the sample is manipulated to ensure a highly motile fraction of sperm is transferred. These sperm are then placed in a small amount of liquid culture media and transferred into the uterus utilizing a small soft plastic catheter. The insemination itself is painless and very similar to a pap smear examination for the female partner. For patients pursuing donor insemination, this is the preferred method of transfer of the sperm.
What does this process entail?
At JCRM, we can perform IUIs seven days a week. IUIs are typically performed after hCG injection (ovulation trigger shot). Injectable ovulation drugs are given for approximately 9 days in the early cycle. Patients are monitored in the office every 2-4 days and adjustments are made to the drug dose based on ultrasound findings and estradiol blood measurements. When follicles reach maturity, hCG is given as an ovulation trigger.
Since an unknown number of eggs ovulate in response to hCG, this therapy creates an unknown risk for multiple pregnancy. This is in contrast to IVF where the number of transferred embryos can be controlled.
How long does this process take?
Injectable ovulation drug cycles are more agressive than oral or hybrid cycles. The pregnancy rates with these cycles range from 12-30% per cycle. This compares with 20% for normal fertlile couples on a per cycle basis. As with other cycle types, our nursing staff meets with patients before the cycle starts to provide a schedule and instruction on drug administration. This therapy is intense and often patients feel that they are on an emotional roller coaster. We strive to provide this therapy to you in a caring and compassionate atmosphere.