Natural cycle IUI is a fertility treatment for women who ovulate regularly
Intrauterine insemination (IUI), or artificial insemination, is a basic fertility treatment at Texas Fertility Center. When patients first visit Erika Munch MD, they often don’t realize that both medicated and unmedicated cycles exist. An unmedicated IUI cycle, also known as natural cycle IUI, can be a great option for women who ovulate regularly. Our San Antonio infertility doctor is here to explain what this type of intrauterine insemination involves.
What happens during an unmedicated IUI cycle?
Many patients like the option of pursuing natural cycle IUI because they view it as a more natural family-building option. This is because it doesn’t require the female patient to take fertility medications. Instead, Dr. Munch works with the woman’s natural cycle.
To start an unmedicated IUI cycle, the woman who will carry the pregnancy will use a urine ovulation predictor kit. This kit will detect a surge of luteinizing hormone (LH), which indicates that the woman is ovulating. When the surge occurs, the woman will call our clinic to schedule her IUI procedure.
The woman will relax on an exam table and place her feet into the supports for the natural cycle IUI. Our San Antonio infertility doctor will insert a speculum and a catheter into the vagina and through the cervix to reach the uterus. Once the catheter is in place, Dr. Munch will release sperm from the patient’s partner or a sperm donor. This process only takes about five minutes.
Once Dr. Munch removes the catheter, she will ask the woman to lay still for about 10 minutes. After that, the patient can resume all her normal activities. Some women do experience mild cramping or light bleeding, but these issues tend to resolve on their own.
What types of patients can benefit from natural cycle IUI?
Because this type of cycle doesn’t use fertility medications, it’s not a good option for women who don’t have regular periods and ovulation. Women who do ovulate regularly can benefit from an unmedicated IUI cycle in the following circumstances.
- Having cervical scarring or abnormalities
- Being diagnosed with unexplained infertility
- Having a male partner with mild infertility or problems with ejaculation
- Pursuing donor sperm insemination
If the woman doesn’t ovulate regularly or has tubal infertility, our San Antonio infertility doctor may recommend in vitro fertilization (IVF). Additionally, IVF can be a good option if several IUI cycles haven’t resulted in pregnancy.
Contact us if you would like to learn more about intrauterine insemination. Dr. Munch can help you explore the treatments that can help you welcome a baby.