If you and your partner are having problems conceiving due to issues like a low sperm count or hostile cervical mucus, intrauterine insemination (IUI) could be the answer. The fertility experts at the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Winter Park and Celebration, Florida, have many years of experience using IUI techniques to help couples start the family they long for. Call the office nearest you today for more information or use the online form to book an appointment.
IUI is short for intrauterine insemination, one of the most well-established forms of fertility treatment.
Artificial insemination involves introducing sperm into the female reproductive system using an alternative to sexual intercourse. With IUI, the most common type of artificial insemination, that means placing sperm directly into the uterus.
You might need to consider IUI if you've been having problems conceiving such as:
Male factor infertility affects the number or quality of sperm in the semen. To assess this, your provider performs a sperm count to see how many sperm you have in each milliliter of semen. A normal concentration is 20 million or more sperm per milliliter.
A low sperm count might be due to physical problems like a varicocele (enlarged vein in the scrotum), hormonal imbalance, genetic condition, or environmental and lifestyle factors.
Sometimes your cervix doesn't create the best kind of mucus, so it prevents sperm from traveling through into your uterus. In some cases, cervical mucus contains anti-sperm antibodies, which attack sperm as though they were harmful microorganisms.
Sometimes the cause of infertility remains a mystery. There could be several small problems or unresolved psychological issues, but for some couples, there's no definitive explanation for their inability to conceive.
If a male partner isn't producing viable sperm or has a genetic condition that he might pass on to the fetus, the Center for Reproductive Medicine team can use donor sperm instead. They use comprehensively screened cryopreserved (frozen) sperm from a donor sperm bank.
The IUI procedure begins with sperm preparation. Fresh sperm is washed and sorted in the Center for Reproductive Medicine's laboratory to remove any abnormal sperm, leaving only healthy sperm in a concentrated sample. Donor sperm is pre-processed, so it only needs thawing out before the IUI procedure.
When the sample of sperm is ready, your provider threads a thin, soft catheter (tube) through your cervix. They then deliver the sperm sample into the uterus and withdraw the catheter.
Undergoing IUI is an outpatient procedure that doesn't require anesthesia. IUI is typically painless and no more uncomfortable than a Pap smear.
To find out more about IUI and see whether you and your partner are suitable candidates, call the Center for Reproductive Medicine today or book an appointment online.