Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) in NY
Treating Infertility with IUI
A pregnancy occurs when a man’s sperm travels from the vagina of a woman, into her cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes, where the fertilization of the egg occurs. While this may successfully occur for some men and women, those who struggle with infertility could be dealing with sperm that cannot swim into the uterus or cervical mucus that is too thick for the sperm to enter the uterus. In either of these cases, intrauterine insemination (IUI) – a type of artificial insemination can be used to allow the sperm to travel through properly and fertilize the egg.
Defining IUI: How it Works
IUI is a fertility treatment that actually puts sperm inside of a woman’s uterus, in order to stimulate fertilization. With a main goal of increasing the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes, IUI allows the chance of fertilization to become more likely. The in-office procedure places the sperm inside the uterus with a small plastic catheter, which bypasses the cervix and vagina. IUI gives the sperm a head start, and it’s a minimally invasive and cost effective fertility treatment option.
Good Candidates for IUI
Men and women who have issues conceiving are typically faced with one or more contributing factors that cause their infertility. Women who use donor sperm to get pregnant usually use IUI, allowing the frozen donor sperm specimens to be thawed and used during the IUI procedure. For those who cannot conceive because of endometriosis, IUI combined with medication usually yields successful results. Men with infertility factors – such as sperm concentration that is below average or weak motility of sperm or abnormalities in sperm size – can benefit from IUI, since preparing for the procedure means separating normal sperm from abnormal sperm. Women with semen allergies, cervical-related infertility and unexplained infertility are also good candidates for the IUI procedure.
How to Prepare for IUI
A large part of a successful IUI procedure involves a careful preparation process, involving a few different moving parts. First, the semen sample must be prepared, regardless of whether or not the semen comes directly from your partner or is provided by a sperm donor. The sperm should be washed in a special way that separates the high quality sperm from the low quality sperm, as semen that contains non-sperm elements, which can negatively affect a pregnancy outcome. Additionally, since IUI calls for the perfect timing, monitoring the time period before ovulation is crucial for a positive outcome. You can do so by using a urine ovulation predictor kit, an imaging procedure that allows your doctor to tell you when you are ovulating, or by getting injected with a medication that triggers your ovulation.
Once the IUI procedure is complete, women are advised to wait at least two full weeks until taking a pregnancy test at home. In addition to taking an at-home test, your doctor may also ask the woman to get a blood test at the office, which can better detect a pregnancy via hormones. Even if you do not become pregnant from IUI the first time around, most couples choose to undergo another round before seeking other fertility treatments. The same therapy is usually used for at least three to six months to increase the chance of getting pregnant.
Inquire About an IUI Today
Feel free to contact the NYU Langone Reproductive Specialists of New York by calling one of our four offices, or request an appointment online. We look forward to explaining the IUI procedure to you, and discussing next steps to make it happen.