Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) / Artificial Insemination
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), also known as artificial insemination, is a fertility treatment in which sperm is washed (processed) and placed directly into the uterus using a catheter. IUI is often the first step for women and couples in need of reproductive assistance. Candidates for IUI typically include those diagnosed with unexplained infertility, same-sex female couples using donor sperm, cases of male factor infertility, and female single parents.
The IUI Process
An IUI cycle may be natural (unmedicated) or medicated, also known as an ovulation induction (OI) cycle. A medicated IUI cycle may include oral medications, such as Clomid or letrozole. These medications stimulate the ovaries to ovulate if a woman does not do so on her own or to produce more than one egg in a given cycle.
Timing insemination around ovulation is critical for achieving pregnancy success. In order to determine when you will ovulate, you and your physician will monitor your cycle using either ovulation predictor kits (OPKs) at home or by coming into the office for hormone blood work and transvaginal ultrasounds. These tests help your doctor detect a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH), which is the trigger for ovulation. Most IUIs are performed within 24-48 hours after the LH surge is detected.
During IUI, fresh semen from a male partner or frozen sperm from a partner or sperm donor go through a process known as sperm washing. Sperm washing helps to ensure that only the highest quality sperm are used during the procedure, by separating the strongest, healthiest sperm from the seminal fluid. Once separated, these high-quality sperm are isolated into concentrated batches. The sperm washing process takes approximately 1-2 hours to complete. Using a sterile medium, the sperm can be safely stored for up to 24 hours in a laboratory incubator (frozen washed sperm can be stored for years).
During the IUI procedure, a speculum is placed in the vagina and, using a thin catheter, the concentrated sperm solution is transferred into the top of the uterus (specifically, near the entrance of either fallopian tube). The patient experience is often described as being comparable to a PAP smear. While there may be some mild discomfort due to the speculum, the patient is unlikely to feel the catheter as it enters the uterus. Some patients may experience mild cramping following the IUI.
Once the procedure is finished, you will be asked to remain in a relaxed position for at least five minutes. Patients are able to resume normal physical activities, including sexual intercourse, on the same day as the procedure. Two weeks after insemination, the patient will be asked to take a pregnancy test.
“Optimal care of the infertile couple involves compassion, science, and data-driven decisions.”
Choosing RMA of New York at CareMount for Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Since 2001, RMA of New York has successfully facilitated the births of thousands of healthy babies for patients across the New York City metro area and beyond. By combining RMA of New York’s world-renowned expertise in reproductive care with CareMount’s long-standing commitment to delivering local exceptional care, we’re able to offer that same personalized, state-of-the-art fertility care right in your Hudson Valley neighborhood. We provide the expertise, technology, research, resources, and compassion needed to help ensure your future family is in the best of hands. No matter the path needed to complete your family-building goals, you can count on our team to be in your corner every step of the way.
To learn more about IUI with RMA of New York at CareMount, please:
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