A Closer Look at IUI

For couples who have been having trouble conceiving the natural way, there are many medical technologies that can assist in conception. While the most common method is In-Vitro Fertilization, the next most common procedure is Intrauterine Insemination, or IUI.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is the process of depositing a man’s sperm into a woman’s uterus with the final result being conception. This procedure is virtually non-invasive as the woman does not have to go through several different types of procedures to harvest her eggs, fertilize the egg in a culture disk, and implant the hopeful fertilized egg into her uterus.

How It's Done

IUI is a simple procedure that takes little time to complete. A catheter filled with sperm is placed through the cervix into the uterus.  These sperm are injected into the woman’s uterus in hopes of conception taking place. The entire procedure can take only a few minutes without complications. The sperm used can be collected by the man at home and given to the doctor within 30 minutes of ejaculation or can be provided through a sperm donor.

Before the sperm can be inserted into the woman’s uterus it needs to be prepared through sperm washing. This process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. Once this process is complete, the sperm can then be placed in the catheter to prepare for insertion in the woman’s uterus.

The IUI process is typically done immediately before ovulation takes place. Washed sperm can only live for six to 12 hours. Therefore, the washed sperm should be inserted into the uterus immediately. Detecting ovulation is done by checking the LH surge the woman’s body produces. Once the LH surge has been detected, the procedure must be done between 24 to 48 hours for a single IUI and between 12 to 24 hours for two or more IUI procedures. The normal sperm count needed in order for this procedure to be successful is five million although it is desired that 25,000 to 30,000 sperm count is used to increase the chance of conception. Prices range from $200 to $700 with some couples paying $5,000 or more depending on how many cycles the procedure is used for.

Reasons to Consider IUI

This procedure is a very simple one that many couples resort to using when trying to conceive and are unable to conceive naturally. It is one of the most non-invasive procedures that can be done and is much cheaper than other unnatural conception methods.

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