Artificial insemination (AI) involves the placement of sperm in the female reproductive tract by means other than sexual intercourse. AI is a simple and painless procedure that can be an effective treatment for some types of infertility. Of the 3 types of AI, vaginal, intracervical and intrauterine, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is the most commonly performed because of its higher success rate.
Intrauterine insemination is performed for mild to moderate male infertility, therapeutic donor insemination, retrograde ejaculation, male or female sexual dysfunction and cervical abnormalities. Additionally, IUI may be used in combination with fertility medications (Controlled Ovarian Stimulation or COH) for the treatment of unexplained infertility.
The goal of IUI is to have a high concentration of sperm available in the fallopian tubes when the eggs are ovulated. This critical timing is accomplished by monitoring the growth and development of the follicles (eggs) at 2-3 visits to determine the optimal time for ovulation. When the eggs are fully developed, ovulation is triggered with a subcutaneous (SQ) injection of hCG, a substance that mimics the natural LH surge before ovulation. The IUI is then performed 36-40 hours after this injection when ovulation is expected to occur.
In preparation for the IUI, the sperm sample is processed using a “sperm wash”. During the wash, sperm are separated from the seminal fluid, are concentrated, and then mixed with a very small amount of special liquid. This very concentrated sperm sample is loaded into a small flexible catheter (tube) which is gently inserted through the cervix and into the uterus where the sperm is deposited. The sperm are then free to travel to the fallopian tubes. If donor sperm is used, it is prepared in a similar fashion before the insemination.
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Fertility Sucess Rates
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In Vitro Fertillization - IVF
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