Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), also called artificial insemination, is a fertility treatment used to increase the chances of fertilizing a woman’s eggs.
First, we wash the sperm sample in a special solution that separates healthy sperm from those that are misshapen or don’t “swim” as well. Then, we use a very small tube called a catheter to inject the concentrated sperm sample directly into a woman’s uterus.
IUI is typically recommended for:
- Healthy women, with plenty of viable eggs and without significant infertility factors.
- Those who ovulate but aren’t getting pregnant using accurately timed intercourse or Clomid.
- Couples with non-severe male infertility factor as the result of low sperm count or poor sperm morphology/motility.
- Single women using donor sperm to get pregnant.
5 Tips for a Successful IUI Fertility Treatment
Here are ways you can prepare for a successful IUI procedure.
Choosing the right fertility specialist for you is the first step to increasing the chances of a successful outcome for any fertility treatment. Review their statistics for successful outcomes for patients with your infertility diagnosis. If you don’t have an official infertility diagnosis yet, look at success rates for patients in your age bracket.
Scheduling a consultation and participating in the complete fertility testing process is essential to getting an accurate diagnosis to ensure IUI is the best next step for you. If you’re using sperm from your partner, they should participate in the complete male testing steps to ensure we have a full, clear picture.
Countless studies correlate healthy bodies and better fertility treatment outcomes. If you’re opting for IUI, we recommend:
- Focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet.
- Eliminating alcohol consumption and avoiding tobacco and cannabis products.
- Switching to a moderate/easier exercise routine (this is essential if you’re using fertility medications along with IUI.
- Establishing healthy sleep habits.
Read Preparing Your Body For a Healthy Baby for more tips.
If you don’t have a current stress management practice, now’s the time to begin experimenting with a range of stress management tools to learn what works best for you. This may include anything from learning specific breathing techniques, taking advantage of mindfulness apps and guided meditations, keeping a gratitude journal, or ensuring you get outside in nature whenever possible.
Fertility treatments can be stressful, particularly if you require more than one cycle. Anyone with an infertility diagnosis can attest to the rollercoaster ride effect it has on emotions and psyche. The more you do now to make stress management a part of your regular routine, the easier it will be to not let anxiety or stress get the best of you during the fertility treatment journey.
4. Understand the IUI process and follow instructions
Your fertility specialist will provide explicit information and instructions about the IUI procedure itself, as well as what to prepare for before and after. That said, it’s a lot of information to take in. Give yourself time to review any paperwork, and never hesitate to ask our office questions or share your concerns.
Things to prepare for include:
Most women use oral fertility medication like Clomid, but we may recommend injectables depending on your situation. We monitor patients carefully, but these medications have inherent side effects, so preparing for them ensures you and your partner can better weather whatever may arise during that phase. Fertility medications must be cared for – and taken – exactly as prescribed to be effective and to avoid more serious side effects.
While IUI is not as appointment-heavy as IVF, you’ll still make many trips to our office. We’ll have you come into our office for a vaginal ultrasound so we can see how your egg follicles are maturing for ovulation.
You may feel a bit moody, bloated, or tender as a result of the fertility medications and the procedure. Take it easy for those first few days. And, of course, you’ll have to wait another 14 days before you’ll know whether or not you’re officially pregnant.
- Avoid hot baths, saunas, or hot tubs because an elevated core temperature can prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.
- Prepare for the two-week wait.
- Clear the calendar so you have lots of space to feel your feelings; you can always add events and social engagements if you feel up to it.
The Reproductive Resource Center has been performing successful IUIs in the greater Kansas City region for more than 30 years. Contact us to schedule your fertility consultation, and we’ll make sure you’re fully prepared for your IUI.