When you seek treatment at Wilcox Fertility, we tailor your care to be as unique and individual as you are. We also want you to fully understand each treatment option you have available. In this section, we review Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is when sperm (from either your husband, partner or donor) is obtained, washed and concentrated down to maximize the chances of conception. The highest-quality sperm is then taken and directly inserted through a thin catheter in a woman’s uterus in the hopes that the sperm will fertilize an egg.
An IUI cycle can be performed “unmedicated” but if you’ve been having trouble conceiving with well-timed intercourse, Dr. Wilcox will most likely recommend IUI with fertility medications. This will be reviewed and decided upon based on your particular diagnosis, history and what you and the doctor feels is the best way forward.
IUI typically addresses mild, male factor infertility or unexplained infertility but there are some fertility concerns where you might want to review our in vitro fertilization page and discuss with Dr. Wilcox to see if it would be worth exploring. They are:
- Age-related fertility concerns, or women who are pursuing fertility treatment over the age of 40
- Women who have been informed they have Fallopian tube blockages or damage
- A diagnosis of poor egg quality or low ovarian reserve
- Severe male factor infertility
Overview of the IUI Process:
- Dr. Wilcox will prescribe the protocol/treatment he believes will provide you the highest chance of success and your clinical team will be your day-to-day guide.
- Your medications will be ordered (you should call your insurance company to review what is covered, what is out of pocket and if you require any preauthorization).
- You will learn how to take your medications (either orally or through injection)
- You will have baseline blood work and ultrasound on your instructed start date.
- You may be asked to call the clinic on the first day of your period.
- Stimulation takes approximately 8 -14 days.
- If it’s a medicated cycle: You will be monitored follicle growth with ovulation prediction kits (OPKs) and/or a transvaginal ultrasound every few days.
- You will visit us at the clinic every few days for monitoring blood tests and trans-vaginal ultrasounds to assess follicle growth.
- Once Dr. Wilcox is confident the follicles have reached a mature state, you will be instructed to take your “trigger shot”, which is also referred to as an hCG.
- The IUI is timed accordingly, between 24 and 36 hours after trigger (depending on a single or back-to-back IUI cycle). Timing is very important in an IUI cycle and it is best to have the sperm meet the egg or be waiting for the egg as it travels down the fallopian tube into the uterus.
- On the day of the IUI, a sperm sample will be produced by the partner via masturbation in one of our private male collection rooms, or a donor sample will be provided. The sample is washed so it can be accepted by the uterus and inserted into a syringe attached to a catheter. Unwashed sperm will cause painful cramping and be rejected by the uterus.
- A speculum is inserted into the vagina open the cervix. The catheter is gently pushed past the cervix and the sample is applied to the uterus just outside the fallopian tubes.
- You will be instructed to lie down for 15 to 30 minutes after the IUI. In the instance of a back-to-back IUI cycle, the patient will return the next day to repeat this process.
For more information on the numerous fertility treatments and family building options offered at Wilcox Fertility, please continue to review other areas of our site or to inquire about financial information, please don’t hesitate to contact us via our online form or call us at 626.657.9327.