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All About Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

All About Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

In your pursuit of parenthood, you may encounter something called intrauterine insemination, or IUI. It’s one of the first things you may try in getting assistance with conception. 

During a natural conception, sperm travels through the vagina to meet with an egg in your uterus. But in this form of artificial insemination, most often your partner’s sperm is used and inserted into your uterus. Dr. Edward J. Ramirez of the Fertillity & Gynecology Center - Monterey Bay IVF explains more about this procedure.

What happens in intrauterine insemination

In an intrauterine insemination, we collect a sample of the male partner’s sperm, which is done in a discreet and private manner. Then, the sperm is washed and concentrated before it’s inserted through the cervix and into the female partner’s uterus.

When you may get an IUI

You may get an IUI under certain circumstances. These include the following:

If you are a candidate for an IUI, Dr. Ramirez will discuss it with you as an option.

People who aren’t good candidates for IUI

Not everyone is a good candidate for an IUI. These cases include the following:

If you’re not a good candidate for IUI, you still have other options to consider, including in-vitro fertilization (or IVF.)

How long the IUI process takes

If you’re chosen as a candidate for an intrauterine insemination, you may have questions about how the procedure happens.

Before you get an IUI, you will have a full medical examination by Dr. Ramirez, including blood tests and a semen analysis, if applicable. You may also have an ultrasound, which can look at the inside of your reproductive system to detect any abnormalities.

In some cases, you may be given a 5-day course of drugs to induce ovulation, to maximize the chances of conception. The insemination is timed to happen when you ovulate.

The process of intrauterine insemination is actually very quick. It usually takes only a couple of minutes for the insemination itself, although you may be advised to lie down for about 15-30 minutes afterward.

You may also be given progesterone supplements to take after the insemination, to maximize the odds of the progesterone sustaining a pregnancy. It’s normal to feel some cramping after the procedure.

You can take a pregnancy test two weeks after the insemination to find out if conception has occurred.

The success rate

The effectiveness of IUI is highly individual, so it’s difficult to determine your success rate. In the best-case scenarios, your success rate is the same as achieving pregnancy without any complications. The factors that determine the success of IUI include:

In general, if IUI is going to work for you, it usually will work within 3 cycles.

If you are interested in finding out if IUI will help you to conceive a child, schedule a consultation. Contact Dr. Edward J. Ramirez at The Fertility & Gynecology Center - Monterey Bay IVF in Monterey, California, or schedule an appointment online.

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