Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Many patients will not need assisted reproductive technologies, such as IVF, to get pregnant. Relatively inexpensive, low-tech methods like medication therapy and/or intrauterine insemination work extremely well in resolving infertility.
Additionally, a variety of surgeries can repair anatomical problems or abnormalities found in either partner. These treatments may be all that is needed to correct a problem or may be used in conjunction with other treatments. It all depends on the diagnosis.
If you are not ovulating properly, the doctor will first want to see if hormonal medication therapy will start this process. He might prescribe Clomiphene Citrate, an oral medication, for several months to see if it can help you get pregnant. Injectable follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is another hormonal medication prescribed to stimulate egg production and ovulation. As a last step, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is injected to trigger ovulation and release the eggs. You will either be instructed to have sexual intercourse or will undergo intrauterine insemination, known as IUI or artificial insemination (AI).
Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
IUI is commonly used when infertility is:
- Secondary to a male, cervical, or mild tubal factor; or
- Caused by endometriosis, but tubal patency (opening) is established.
We monitor the female partner’s follicular phase* through hormone testing and ultrasounds, which assist in adjusting medications and scheduling the insemination to coincide with ovulation. The insemination procedure involves placing a fraction of motile sperm into the uterine cavity via a catheter. Chances of success are maximized by ovulation induction with fertility medications. Progesterone supplementation may also be administered during the patient’s luteal phase.*
*The follicular phase is the first part of the menstrual cycle when ovarian follicular development and egg maturation occurs. The luteal phase is the last part of the cycle after ovulation when the follicle becomes the corpus luteum that produces the hormone progesterone.
Donor Insemination (DI)
When a male partner has either no sperm or poor quality sperm inadequate for IUI or IVF, donor insemination may be recommended. Donor sperm also is used for single women without a male partner and for lesbians.
Before treatment, the female is evaluated with a hysterosalpingogram, mid-follicular phase ultrasound and a full hormonal profile. A licensed clinical therapist specializing in infertility sees all couples before they are matched with a donor.
We work in conjunction with several reputable sperm banks, all of which adhere to guidelines established by the American Society of Reproductive Medicine for the selection and monitoring of donors. Donors can be matched according to physical characteristics and ethnic background and are screened for genetic and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.
Hormonal and Ultrasound Monitoring
All patients undergoing timed sexual intercourse or IUI’s are monitored very carefully with blood hormone levels and ultrasounds. We want to prevent a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) that can cause a variety of complications in the short-run, as well as increase the risk of multiple births with timed intercourse and IUI’s.