Is Intrauterine Insemination the Right Choice?

Individuals and couples in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area and throughout the country have found success through intrauterine insemination. This procedure, also known as artificial insemination, has helped many otherwise infertile couples overcome the condition and reach their goal of conceiving. Infertility can be a very frustrating and stressful time for many couples. Going through several tests and examinations to pinpoint the problem is often very burdensome. Couples who believe they may be infertile are encouraged to speak with a fertility doctor to determine the cause of their infertility and discuss fertility treatments such as intrauterine insemination.

So how do you know if you are infertile? Infertility is defined as an inability to get pregnant after one year of unprotected sex. For women over 35 years of age, infertility may be defined as an inability to get pregnant after six months of unprotected sex. Once the source or cause of infertility is determined, couples may work with their fertility doctor in developing a treatment plan.

Intrauterine insemination is a procedure in which the woman is injected with specially prepared sperm, sometimes referred to as washed sperm. The sperm are injected directly into the woman's uterus, where they will hopefully swim up the fallopian tubes and fertilize the egg. In some intrauterine insemination procedures, the woman will take fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation, while other women will coordinate the procedure with their normal cycle.

The first step in the procedure is to collect a semen sample from the man. This is usually done in a doctor's office or clinic, or if the woman is using donor sperm, the donor sperm are prepared. To improve the chances of success, the sperm are washed prior to injection to get rid of lower quality sperm. The semen is first analyzed for sperm count, motility, as well as any diseases.

When a surge in luteinizing hormone is detected, it is time for the procedure to be performed. The day after the surge takes place, the woman arrives at the clinic. When fertility drugs are used, the woman may be injected with human chorionic gonadotropin the day before the procedure. The woman lies on an exam table with her legs in stirrups. A speculum and a catheter are inserted into the vagina, through the cervical opening and into the uterus. A sperm sample, attached to a syringe which is located at the end of the catheter, is then pushed through the tube and into the uterus. Once the procedure is complete, the woman typically lies on her back for a short period before getting up.

Two weeks later, a pregnancy test is conducted to determine if the procedure was successful. A home pregnancy test or a blood test at the doctor's office may be recommended. When procedures are unsuccessful, couples may be encouraged to try intrauterine insemination again before moving onto other procedures. In subsequent procedures, a higher dose of fertility drugs may be recommended.

Like any other medical procedure, patients are encouraged to discuss the possible risks and complications associated with intrauterine insemination with their doctor. Those associated with intrauterine insemination include infection, minor cramping following the procedure and multiple pregnancies. In cases where fertility drugs are used, side effects such as nausea may be present.

Intrauterine insemination has proven to be successful for many patients and those looking to overcome infertility are often recommended to first try this procedure before other more invasive and expensive options. Each session of intrauterine insemination costs between $300 and $800, although this may vary. The procedure is must more cost-effective than many other fertility treatments.

Learn more about intrauterine insemination in Minneapolis, Minnesota. .

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