Intrauterine Insemination, IUI
Intrauterine insemination is a procedure where sperm are placed directly inside the woman’s uterus to increase the chance that he sperm and egg will meet. We usually combine the IUI procedure with ovulation induction medication to increase the chance of success.
Dr. Gehlbach may suggest intrauterine insemination for a variety of reasons, but the most common is male factor infertility. If problems exist with the sperm count, sperm motility, or morphology, assisting the sperm in reaching the egg can offer a successful, yet relatively inexpensive treatment to consider. If your partner has a mild or moderate abnormality with any of these sperm factors, then timed intrauterine insemination is another good option treatment. With IUI procedure, 5-10 times the number of sperm will reach the egg compared to intercourse.
For the IUI process, sperm are collected by ejaculation, or patients can use donor sperm. We advise the male partner to abstain ejaculation for two to six days before collection the sample. There are alternative methods available for sperm collection, just ask us for further information.
The laboratory then prepares the sperm, separating the active sperm from the inactive sperm, dead cells, and seminal fluid.
During the IUI, a speculum is inserted into the vagina, similar to an annual Pap. A long, thin, flexible catheter is passed through the vagina, through the cervix, and to the top of the uterus where the prepared sperm sample is deposited. The procedure is essentially painless, but can cause some mild cramping. The entire process takes less than 5 minutes to complete. After the insemination, you will lie down for approximately 10 minutes, but can then resume normal daily activities without any restrictions.