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IUI – Intrauterine Insemination

IUI Can Be an Effective Path to Parenthood

Intrauterine insemination, or IUI, is the key to conceiving for many people. This relatively simple, affordable fertility treatment places the sperm closer to the egg, making it easier for fertilization to take place. If you’re considering fertility treatment in San Antonio, our experienced fertility specialists can determine whether this procedure is the right treatment to put you on the path to parenthood.

How does IUI work?

IUI is performed at the time in a woman’s menstrual cycle when ovulation occurs. To ensure that the insemination is timed appropriately, the woman may need to take certain medications and will need to be monitored in our office via ultrasound during the cycle. Because the woman is carefully monitored throughout the process, our experienced reproductive endocrinologists will ensure that ovulation and insemination occur at the right time, and that the uterine lining is prepared and ready to receive an embryo.

For intrauterine insemination, the male partner provides a sample of semen through masturbation. The partner’s semen sample is then processed, or “washed,” in our Ovation® Fertility andrology lab, a process that ensures that all sperm used in the procedure have the best chance of success. In some cases, frozen donor sperm are thawed and prepared for use in the procedure.

When the timing is just right, the woman comes into our office for the insemination, which is a quick and simple outpatient procedure. A tiny catheter is inserted through her cervix and into her uterus, then the processed sperm are injected through the catheter into the uterine cavity. From there, they can more easily swim up into the fallopian tubes, where fertilization can occur. The fertilized egg will then travel normally down tubes and into the uterus, where it can implant into the uterine lining and begin to grow.

Who needs intrauterine insemination?

As an affordable approach to achieving pregnancy, IUI is often a front-line fertility treatment for couples who have struggled to conceive on their own. It can be a very effective solution for couples facing certain common fertility challenges.

  • Male factor infertility, such as low sperm count or motility issues
  • Irregular ovulation
  • Issues with cervical mucus that can prevent sperm from moving into the uterus
  • Sexual dysfunction issues with the male or female partner
  • Unexplained infertility

Intrauterine insemination may also be the path to parenthood for any woman needing donor sperm to become a mother, including lesbians and single mothers by choice. Our practice welcomes all women who need fertility treatment in San Antonio, and we are honored to be with you on your journey to motherhood.

Fertility testing holds the answers

Not everyone is a good candidate for IUI. For example, a woman with blocked fallopian tubes or structural problems with her uterus may need a different type of fertility treatment. Men with very low quantities of normally functioning sperm may also need a different approach to become fathers.

To determine if you have a good chance of success with this fertility treatment, we will first order a series of fertility tests for both partners. For men, semen analysis can identify any issues with the sperm that could be making it difficult to conceive naturally at home. For women, blood and imaging tests can tell us whether ovulation is occurring normally and whether any structural issues are present with the fallopian tubes or uterus that could be preventing conception or embryo implantation.

If you are younger than 35 and have been trying to conceive for a year or more, it’s time to learn whether IUI can help. If you are 35 or older and have been TTC for six months, don’t wait to get the answers you need. Contact us to schedule a consultation with fertility specialists to get started with testing and fertility treatment in San Antonio.