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Infertility Cubby

IUI Process Explained
by Eric Daiter, MD

As couples exhaust their non-medical resources and steps toward conception prove futile, they often contact their trusted physician or other fertility expert for advice in what ways to proceed. For many, intrauterine insemination, or IUI, appears as a viable option and is one of the lesser-invasive procedures offered.

A first step in the IUI process involves tests that help provide a better prediction of what day a woman's egg is released. Ultrasounds can be used to monitor egg development within the ovarian follicles. Urine tests are used to identify and measure the luteinizing hormone levels that rise significantly in the hours preceding ovulation. These urine ovulation predictor tests may be administered at home and can be read by the couple trying to conceive.

After ovulation predictor kit analysis provides the best choice of days for the treatment, preparations will be made for that day. This involves readying the sperm to be used for insemination. This sperm will be examined and shown to be fertile through testing. It is also necessary to wash the sperm to remove any chemicals that might cause unwanted reactions within the woman's uterus. Often, antibiotics and protein supplements are added to the semen to enhance its viability and the seminal fluid is removed so that concentrated sperm is all that will be used for the procedure. This process of sperm washing is often very helpful in situations where the male partner possesses a low sperm count or the sperm is experiencing difficulty surviving its trip to the womb.

The IUI process is often used successfully in cases where the female does not possess a partner that will be supplying the sperm, but might be using instead sperm chosen from a bank of sperm donors. Once the sperm has been readied, on the designated day, the process will begin. If there exists a problem with a woman's ovulation, a doctor might feel the need to prescribe fertility drugs in order to amp up ovulation to release more eggs prior to the designated day. The sperm is inserted in the woman's uterus by way of a catheter. By placing the sperm nearer the eggs, the sperm is given a better chance to fertilize the egg and stimulate a successful implantation and pregnancy.

Intrauterine insemination is often one of the first medical steps women choose because of its relative inexpensiveness as compared to in-vitro fertilization. IUI is less invasive, but is also proven less effective, with a success rate below 25%, where IVF has a success rate nearing 60%. It is best to contact a physician or fertility clinic in order to arrive at the best course of action.

About the Author:
Eric Daiter is the medical director of The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, LLC, a leading NEW JERSEY INFERTILITY CENTER that offers a complete range of MALE INFERTILITY AND FEMALE INFERTILITY TREATMENT. For more information on The NJ Center for Fertility and Reproductive Medicine and Dr. Eric Daiter please visit www.drericdaitermd.com.

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