Ins and Outs of Intrauterine Insemination

Infertility affects people around Willow Grove, Pennsylvania and other parts of the country, leaving many to seek treatment such as intrauterine insemination. Also known as IUI and artificial insemination, this procedure involves the injection of sperm into the uterus where it may swim to the fallopian tubes and fertilize the mature egg. Hopefully, this will result in an embryo that implants in the uterine lining and develops. The procedure is considered a good first option for couples who are struggling with infertility because of its relative low price tag compared to other procedures such as assisted reproductive technologies (ART) like in vitro fertilization (IVF). Whereas IVF may run between $10,000 and $15,000, IUI procedures typically range from $300 to $800. 

It is important that patients who are considering fertility treatments seek consultation with a professional at a fertility clinic in Willow Grove to determine which procedure may provide them with the best results. Candidates for IUI include those with male factor infertility, cervical factor infertility, unexplained infertility, and women who are using donor sperm. Women with a semen allergy may also be a good candidate, as the IUI process removes semen proteins to prevent allergic reactions. Those not considered candidates include women who have blocked or damaged fallopian tubes. If this is an issue, other procedures may provide success instead of IUI.

The IUI procedure first involves washing sperm to remove unhealthy or dead sperm, as well as debris that may interfere with fertilization. The procedure is timed appropriately by monitoring ovulation so it has the best chances of success. The procedure is typically performed the day after a surge in luteinizing hormone, or LH. Others may opt for an injection of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) the day before the procedure is to be performed to stimulate ovulation.

The woman will lie on a table with her legs in stirrups. A speculum is then inserted into the vagina followed by a catheter with a syringe on the end. The syringe contains the sperm sample, and the sperm is injected into the uterus. The procedure typically takes about 20 minutes and is performed in a doctor's office. The woman will be asked to rest by lying on her back for a short period of time prior to leaving the clinic. A pregnancy test is taken two weeks after the procedure to determine if the treatment was a success.

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