How you prepareBy Mayo Clinic staff
Intrauterine insemination involves careful coordination before the actual procedure.
- Preparing the semen sample. Your partner provides a semen sample at the doctor's office, or a vial of frozen donor sperm can be thawed and prepared. Because nonsperm elements in semen can cause reactions in the woman's body that interfere with fertilization, the sample will be washed in a way that separates the highly active, normal sperm from lower quality sperm and other elements. The likelihood of achieving pregnancy increases by using a small, highly concentrated sample of healthy sperm.
- Monitoring for ovulation. Because the timing of IUI is crucial, monitoring for signs of impending ovulation is critical. This can be done by using an at-home urine ovulation predictor kit which detects when your body produces a surge or release of luteinizing hormone (LH). Alternatively, an imaging method that lets your doctor visualize your ovaries and egg growth (transvaginal ultrasound) can be done. If you choose to use an ultrasound to monitor ovulation, you may be given an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) to make you ovulate one or more eggs at the right time.
- Determining optimal timing. Most IUIs are done a day or two after detecting ovulation. Your doctor should have a plan spelled out for the timing of your IUI.
- Frequently asked questions. Treating infertility. Gynecological problems FAQ137. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq137.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130521T2008087677. Accessed May 21, 2013.
- Reproductive health: Infertility FAQs. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/Infertility/. Accessed May 21, 2013.
- Infertility fact sheet. Womenshealth.gov. http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/infertility.html. Accessed May 21, 2013.
- Ginsberg ES. Procedure for intrauterine insemination (IUI) using processed sperm. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 21, 2013.
- Tournaye HJ, et al. Management of male-factor infertility. Best Practice and Research: Clinical Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2012;26:769.
- Demir B, et al. Factors affecting pregnancy outcome of intrauterine insemination cycles in couples with favorable female characteristics. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2011;31:420.
- Bernstein JA. Immunologic disorders of the female and male reproductive tract. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. 2012;108:390.
- Coddington III CC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 23, 2013.
- Stewart EA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 17, 2013.