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Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is one of the first fertility treatments available to couples with infertility. IUI can be accomplished with husband or donor sperm and/or with either natural or stimulated ovulation.
IUI is an in office procedure, during which ejaculated sperm (which has been cleaned and concentrated) is placed into the uterus through a small catheter.
IUI can be combined with fertility pills or injections, or can be timed with a natural ovulation, depending on the etiology for a couple’s infertility.
If fertility pills or injections are used, the process is called “superovulation or controlled ovarian hyperstimulation along with IUI” and generally involves three steps. First, ovarian stimulation is accomplished by the use of fertility pills or fertility injections. During follicle growth, the female partner will undergo monitoring with blood work, ultrasound or a combination of the two. Second, once a mature follicle is seen during monitoring visits, ovulation is triggered. Third, an intrauterine insemination is subsequently performed.
IUI can be an effective fertility treatment for couples with unexplained infertility, cervical scarring, and sexual or ejaculatory dysfunction. Additionally single women who hope to start a family, same sex female couples, and other couples with a male factor infertility who hope to use donor sperm, would benefit from IUI.
Risks associated with ovarian stimulation medications include a higher chance for multiple pregnancy as well as an increased risk of over-response of the ovaries (also known as ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome). To minimize these risks, monitoring is critical, so that your Team RMI physician can more appropriately adjust your treatment protocol.