Intrauterine insemination (IUI) refers to a procedure where semen is separated from sperm cells and sperm cells are then placed at the top of the uterus through a long thin catheter to get sperm cells as close to the eggs as possible.
Have you been through multiple IUI cycles without success?
If you’re a patient of mine, and we’ve done IUI without success, we will meet and talk about why IUI may not be working for you.
Understanding basic reproductive physiology like where the egg and sperm come together is important. When an egg is released from the ovary, it travels into the fallopian tube. Sperm cells travel through the cervix into the uterus to also make it into the tube where they meet and hopefully fertilize an egg. Once an egg gets fertilized, an embryo then grows and travels down the tube over the course of a few days before landing and implanting in the uterus. This is how a pregnancy starts.
IUI puts the sperm at the top of the uterus. That’s it. When you do IUI you aren’t fertilizing an egg. You rely on nature to take care of the following 3 steps:
1. Egg makes it into the fallopian tube
2. Egg and sperm meet and an embryo forms
3. Embryo travels down the tube toward the uterus, attaches and grows
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCdIiLLF0vw is a great 3D animation of IUI.
When a couple is deciding to move to IVF, understanding how IVF may help you is important. In IVF, eggs are removed from the ovary and mixed with sperm cells. The embryo is allowed to grow over several days and then put in the perfect spot in your uterus. IVF basically takes care of 3 steps that you rely on nature for in an IUI procedure. The one thing that IVF certainly doesn’t do is help with implantation. Once the embryo is placed in the uterus, we wait for the pregnancy test to tell us if the embryo decided to attach and grow.
Hope this helps!