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, your doctor may monitor you for signs of impending ovulation using transvaginal ultrasound, which is an imaging method that lets your doctor visualize your ovaries and egg growth. Alternatively, you may be asked to monitor yourself using an at-home urine ovulation predictor kit.
- Determining optimal timing. Just before ovulation, your body produces a surge or release of luteinizing hormone (LH). If you're coordinating IUI with your normal cycle, you'll go in for insemination the day after the LH surge. If you're using ovulation-inducing medications, you may be given an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) to make you ovulate, and then go in for the insemination the next day.
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