Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is often an initial treatment for a patient with male factor unexplained infertility. This is couple-specific and depends upon many factors including age, cause of infertility, and previous treatments. IUI cycles are usually stimulated, meaning that ovulation induction drugs are employed. Most IUI treatments are carefully monitored by a specialist because of the complexities involved. Patients undergoing an IUI cycle administer subcutaneous gonadotropin injections during their ovulatory cycle. Injections of gonadotropins augment the natural follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) production and cause the ovaries to recruit more follicles, each of which contains an egg. The patient's cycle is monitored using estradiol hormone measurements and ultrasound. In a stimulated IUI cycle, ovulation is induced by an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Insemination follows approximately 36 hours later, close to the time of ovulation. Couples using the male's sperm will provide a semen sample on the day of the insemination that is washed and specially prepared by andrologists. The prepared sperm are introduced directly into the uterus using a small catheter in a brief, relatively painless procedure. In the case of donor sperm, the frozen sample will be available on the day of insemination.