Intrauterine insemination (IUI), sometimes called artificial insemination, is a treatment modality in which a sperm sample is placed directly inside the uterus. This treatment option can be beneficial for a number of fertility problems including mild to moderate male factor infertility, cervical stenosis (blockage of the cervix) and unexplained infertility.
The process of insemination is straight forward. The male produces a sample. The sample is then processed or "washed" in the lab. Washing the sperm helps to isolate a higher concentration of motile sperm. The washed sample is placed in a catheter. The catheter is threaded through the cervix into the uterus and the sperm is deposited.
During normal intercourse a large number of sperm are lost from the transition between the cervix to the uterus. With IUI we bypass this transition point and place the sperm directly in the uterus. In general, the motility of the sperm in the washed sample is also much higher. More sperm in the right place, at the right time leads to an increased chance of success!
Inseminations are often combined with other treatments. Inseminations can be paired with the female partner taking Clomid or injectable gonadotropins. These medications result in an increase in the number of eggs she produces. Combining IUI with these treatments can truly maximize fertility by ensuring that both more sperm and more eggs are in the right place at the right time.
Inseminations are often used to treat mild or moderate male factor infertility. They can also be used for couples with unexplained infertility. For severe male factor infertility, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), is the treatment of choice.
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Contact the Advanced Reproductive Center to learn if artificial insemination is required to solve your infertility issues. To schedule an appointment call us at 815-229-1700, or fill out the form below and we will contact you.