Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is often an initial treatment for a patient with male factor unexplained infertility. This is couple-specific and depends upon many factors including age, cause of infertility, and previous treatments. IUI cycles are usually stimulated, meaning that ovulation induction drugs are employed. Most IUI treatments are carefully monitored by a specialist because of the complexities involved. Patients undergoing an IUI cycle administer subcutaneous gonadotropin injections during their ovulatory cycle. Injections of gonadotropins augment the natural follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) production and cause the ovaries to recruit more follicles, each of which contains an egg. The patient’s cycle is monitored using estradiol hormone measurements and ultrasound. In a stimulated IUI cycle, ovulation is induced by an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Insemination follows approximately 36 hours later, close to the time of ovulation. Couples using the male’s sperm will provide a semen sample on the day of the insemination that is washed and specially prepared by andrologists. The prepared sperm are introduced directly into the uterus using a small catheter in a brief, relatively painless procedure. In the case of donor sperm, the frozen sample will be available on the day of insemination.
UAB Medicine’s nationally recognized physicians have years of experience in diagnosing and treating both male and female infertility. We treat infertility with a team approach that includes a urologist, a reproductive endocrinologist, specialized nurses, and laboratory scientists. A variety of conventional treatments are available, including corrective microsurgery. For those who do not have a condition that can be treated, procedures such as intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be used to help a couple get pregnant. Our fertility experts will determine a treatment plan that is best suited for each individual man and his partner. As a major center for research, UAB Medicine continues to investigate new advances in fertility treatment aimed at increasing the chances of conceiving healthy babies.
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