Intrauterine Insemination Is a Cost-Effective Option
Intrauterine insemination (IUI), frequently called artificial insemination, is a fertility treatment where specially prepared sperm is inserted with a catheter into a woman’s uterus. The goal is to get as many sperm as possible near the fallopian tubes to increase the chances of fertilization and pregnancy.
Because it is less expensive and complicated than IVF, we typically start patients on several rounds of IUI before proceeding to assisted reproductive technologies.
The timing of the IUI is enhanced by the simultaneous use of fertility medications. Ovulation induction occurs with either pills (Clomid) or medication administered by injection (gonadotropins). Because these medications induce the female to ovulate multiple eggs, she must be carefully monitored with blood tests and ultrasounds. Once a surge in LH, luteinizing hormone, is detected, ovulation occurs 24-36 hours later and the IUI is timed to coincide.
Semen is prepared in the laboratory by separating the sperm cells from the seminal fluid, and placing the sperm in a sterile nutrient solution that is inserted directly into the uterus.
This procedure is used when there is a hostile cervical environment that impedes the sperm’s progress, when the sperm quantity and/or quality is suboptimal, or for unexplained infertility.
Prior to undergoing the Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) we specially prepare the semen sample used for this procedure in one of the following ways listed below.
Semen washing is a procedure in which a semen specimen is prepared for therapeutic insemination. The main purpose for washing semen is to remove the seminal plasma from the ejaculate and concentrate all of the sperm into a small volume for insemination into either the cervix or uterus.
Sperm isolation is a procedure in which the motile sperm is separated from the seminal plasma by using a special medium to isolate sperm from the seminal plasma. This procedure will usually produce a sample enriched with motile sperm and minimal particulate contamination. The specimen is then concentrated into a small volume for insemination into either the cervix or uterus.
Sperm freezing is a procedure in which a sperm sample is stored for later use using cryopreservation. Sperm is frozen in liquid nitrogen and most often thaws well. Conception rates are usually excellent. Using this procedure can guarantee the ready availability of semen required for any of our reproductive techniques where there may be an issue with co-location of the egg and semen when needed.