Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
IUI is an assisted reproduction technique that places sperm directly in to the womb, in the hope that it swims to meet an egg and fertilizes.
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The process only takes about 10 minutes and is a painless procedure. The prepared sperm is inserted directly in to the womb via a catheter.
IUI is an option for couples that are unable to have normal intercourse, same sex female couples or if one of the partners has HIV so unprotected intercourse is not safe.
The intrauterine insemination (IUI) procedure
In order to undergo IUI the female partner must have open and healthy fallopian tubes. IUI is not suitable for couples that have unexplained infertility, a low sperm count for the male partner, or endometriosis. From your fertility diagnosis and fertility tests your physician will advise you if IUI is a viable option for you to conceive.
IUI is offered to women undergoing both a natural cycle and those who need a stimulated cycle.
IUI is effective when women are ovulating. Ovulation occurs in the middle of your cycle, so if you have a 28-day cycle, then ovulation would occur on day 14 of your cycle. Day one being the first day of your period. An ovulation testing kit that you can buy from your local pharmacy is a good indication of when ovulation occurs each month; your fertility specialist can also determine ovulation with a blood test.
If you need a stimulated cycle, then you would take ovulation induction medication, and this would be monitored via a scan to see how your eggs are developing ahead of the IUI cycle.
The male partner needs to produce a sperm sample on the day of the IUI cycle; this is then washed and filtered to produce a concentrate of healthy sperm.
You can also choose to use donor sperm for the procedure, you would order your sperm directly from a reputable sperm bank who would arrange delivery to the clinic on the day of your procedure.
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