Five IUI Treatments Questions – What You Should Know Before Your First Treatment
Who is a candidate for IUI Treatments?
The best candidates for IUI treatments are:
- couples who have male factor fertility issues
- women who have unexplained infertility
- women who suffer from endometriosis
- same-sex couples
What should I expect on my first IUI treatment visit?
The initial visit determines the appropriateness of this type of treatment for your situation. This visit may include blood tests, ultrasound, a test to determine if your fallopian tubes are open, and possibly a semen analysis for your partner. Additional visits require ultrasounds and blood tests to monitor the progress of the growing follicles to ensure the correct timing of the IUI.
What happens during the Artificial Insemination process?
On the day of your IUI procedure, you and your partner arrive two hours before to provide a semen sample for the IUI preparation. Both of you will sign consent forms agreeing to the procedure. Once the sample is ready, you will return to the clinic for the IUI treatment. Once in the exam room, you will be asked to remove your clothing from the waist down and then will sit on the exam table covered with a drape for your comfort. The physician and nurse will review the IUI process. Both you and your partner’s names and dates of birth will be verified by you and two of our clinic staff members via RI Witness; an electronic witnessing system used at Aspire Fertility, to guarantees the correct sample is used for your IUI.
When ready your doctor or nurse will ask that you place your feet in the stirrups. Next, a vaginal speculum will be inserted into the vaginal cavity to provide visibility into the cervix. A Q-tip will gently clean the cervix, and the sperm sample is drawn up through a catheter and into a syringe. The catheter is then threaded through the cervix and positioned at the top of your uterus. Once in place, the doctor or nurse gently pushes the plunger to eject the sperm into the upper part of the uterus (also called the fundus). Next, the nurse will remove the catheter and the speculum The entire IUI procedure takes about ten minutes. After the procedure, you will rest on the bed for 10 minutes.
What is Sperm Washing in Artificial Insemination?
Semen contains sperm cells as well as other proteins. During intercourse, a woman’s cervix acts as a filter to remove the additional proteins, and only the sperm enter the uterus. The uterus removes proteins in semen because these proteins are irritating to the uterus. With an IUI the cervix is bypassed, so the sperm needs to be cleaned to remove the proteins that could irritate the uterus.
Is IUI Painful? Are there any side effects?
An IUI is comparable to having a routine pap smear. Many women report feeling some slight pressure and minor cramping. The patient can return to normal daily activities after leaving the office.
To learn more about IUI, artificial insemination, or if you are considering undergoing fertility treatment, please contact us and make an appointment at either our Dallas or Houston clinic locations.