Frequently Asked Questions About Intrauterine Insemination

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) Treatment & Cost GuideNatural conception occurs when sperm travels from the vagina through the cervix to the fallopian tube and fertilizes a waiting egg. Intrauterine insemination places washed and concentrated sperm past the cervix directly into the uterus to improve your chances of getting pregnant. Your doctor may recommend IUI New York if you and your partner experience difficulty getting pregnant due to unexplained causes, cervical abnormalities, anovulation, or problems with sperm delivery.

How is sperm collected?

There are several ways to collect semen samples, but the man usually masturbates in a plastic cup or sterile glass. Sperm collection can also occur at home; your doctor will provide a special condom. If the man has retrograde ejaculation, sperm is retrieved from his urine sample in the laboratory. Some men may need the help of vibratory stimulation, especially those who can’t erect or ejaculate despite using medications. Men with spinal cord injuries can also benefit from vibratory stimulation or electroejaculation.

What happens during intrauterine insemination?

Once the semen sample is collected, it is washed in the laboratory to remove low-quality sperm and non-sperm elements; this concentrates the sperm and removes seminal fluid, which can cause severe cramping in a woman.

The procedure occurs near the time the woman is ovulating; it is simple and only takes a few minutes. After the semen sample is ready, the woman lies on an exam table and puts her legs into stirrups. The clinician inserts a speculum into the vagina, inserts a catheter through the cervix into the uterus, and lowly injects the washes semen sample. Many women experience no pain during intrauterine insemination, but some have mild cramps.

What are the risks of intrauterine insemination?

Intrauterine insemination is relatively simple and has a low rate of serious complications. However, there is a slight risk of developing an infection due to the procedure. Placing the catheter in the uterus can cause spotting; this usually does not affect the pregnancy chance. Intrauterine insemination is not associated with multiple pregnancies, but when coordinated with fertility medications, there is a risk of getting twins, triplets, or more.

What happens after the procedure?

After insemination, you will lie on your back for some time, but you can get dressed and do your daily activities afterward. You may have some light vaginal bleeding for a day or two following the procedure; this is normal and does not interfere with the chance of pregnancy.

Your doctor may recommend that you wait at least two weeks before taking an at-home pregnancy test. Testing too soon may produce a false-negative; pregnancy hormones are yet at measurable levels, but you are pregnant. The test might also produce a false-negative, especially if you use ovulation-inducing medication like HCG. This medication is still in your system and could indicate a pregnancy when you are not.

Two weeks after your home kit results, visit your doctor for a blood test; this is more sensitive to detecting pregnancy hormones.

If you have difficulty getting pregnant, consult your doctor at the Center for Human Reproduction to discuss your fertility treatment options.