Oct 03 2014

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): The Procedure and What to Expect


A pregnant woman holds her baby bumpThe Centre for Reproductive Medicine in Lubbock has helped so many couples start the families they have always wanted through effective care. This includes everything from artificial insemination in various forms to increase chances of successful fertilization to in vitro fertilization (IVF), which involves fertilization in a lab outside of the uterus.

We'd like to focus on one method of artificial insemination right now known as intrauterine insemination. It may be the ideal option for you and your needs.

About Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a procedure that involves the placement of washed and concentrated sperm into a woman's uterus in order to successfully fertilize an egg. The sperm is placed during the time that a woman is ovulating to maximize the chances of pregnancy.

Previous forms of insemination simply involved the placement of sperm into the woman's vagina. The placement of the sperm into the uterus helps increase the chances of successful fertilization and pregnancy since the sperm will not have to swim as far.

Ideal Candidates for Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

The best candidates for intrauterine insemination are people who experience either male or female infertility. This is particularly true when a woman's cervical mucus proves an impediment for the passage of sperm or if a man has a low sperm count or poor sperm motility.

If a sperm donor is used in order to fertilize an egg, intrauterine insemination is one of many options that can be used. This can be discussed in more detail during the visit with the fertility specialist.

Those who undergo intrauterine insemination should have realistic expectations about the process and should understand any potential risks that may be faced. These issues will be discussed during the consultation process.

The Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) Process

One of the most important parts of the intrauterine insemination process involves the preparation of the sperm. The woman's partner or the sperm donor will provide sperm to the fertility specialist. This sperm is carefully washed in order to isolate the sperm themselves from other substances in the semen. This will also allow fertility specialists to select high-quality sperm that is healthy and has the best chance to fertilize an egg.

With the sperm prepared, it's then important to monitor the patient's ovulation. This will ensure that the sperm is introduced into the uterus at the height of fertility, increasing the chances of pregnancy.

The actual placement of the sperm into the uterus will be accomplished using a catheter that is carefully introduced into a woman's uterus. That part of the process generally takes just 15 to 20 minutes. An at-home pregnancy test can be used roughly to weeks after the visit to determine if you are pregnant.

Success Rates of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

The success rates of intrauterine insemination will vary from couple to couple based on the factors that affect their fertility. In general, the success rates peak around 20% for intrauterine insemination as there may be multiple impediments to success that IUI will not address.

In vitro fertilization (IVF), by contrast, has a much higher rate of success since it involves the fertilization of the eggs in a controlled setting. Other methods of insemination and fertility treatment can be discussed during your visit in order to determine which might be most ideal for your situation.

Schedule an Appointment for Fertility Treatment

For more information about your many different options for starting the family that you have always wanted, be sure to contact our fertility experts and reproductive medicine specialists today. Dr. Janelle Dorsett and the entire team here looks forward to your visit and discussing all of your fertility treatment options in greater detail.

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The Centre for Reproductive Medicine
Lubbock Office

Address: 3405 22nd St Ste 300
Lubbock, TX 79410

Phone: (806) 788-1212