If you are considering the IUI route, a comprehensive consultation with your fertility specialist is recommended, as it is important to first identify the possible cause(s) of infertility. The male partner will also be advised to have a sperm test done. Thereafter, the fertility doctor will discuss your treatment plan with you in detail. Our fertility sister will also discuss the stimulation medication with you.
An IUI treatment cycle includes a few sonar scans with your fertility specialist and specific blood tests may be needed. This is necessary to monitor the growth of the follicles (containing the eggs) and to determine your day of ovulation. The insemination day will then be scheduled accordingly. On the day of the insemination, the male partner should provide the laboratory with his semen sample. Three days of abstinence is preferred. The semen is prepared in the laboratory to allow for an optimal sperm sample with optimised sperm parameters (i.e. concentration and motility) that ultimately will optimise fertilising potential.
The female partner will undergo the insemination of the prepared sperm sample at the doctor’s rooms. The AI procedure is similar to a routine gynaecological examination for a Pap smear. The pregnancy test is normally performed 12 days after the AI procedure. A blood beta-hCG test is the most accurate. A home pregnancy test is less accurate and can be done 15 days after the AI. We will contact you as soon as we receive your test result.
Q: Where is the sperm collected and how long before the IUI is it needed?
A: Usually the sample is collected through ejaculation into a sterile collection cup. We would like the semen to be delivered within a half hour of ejaculation, around the time of liquefaction, so if one lives close enough the sample can be collected at home. If not, one has to make do with a room at the clinic. We do, however, prefer that all samples are produced at the clinic in order to make sure there are no factors that can be detrimental to the sample.
There is a delay between when the semen sample is dropped off for washing and when it is inseminated. The amount of time depends on the washing technique used, which takes 45 minutes to two hours, as well as on our clinic’s scheduling.
Q: When is the best timing for an IUI?
A: When timing is based on a trigger injection, the IUIs are usually done around 36 hours later.
Q: What does an IUI feel like?
A: Most women consider IUI to be fairly painless — along the same lines as having a pap smear. There can be some cramping afterward, but often what is felt is ovulation-related rather than from the IUI.
Q: Do I have to lay down after an IUI?
A: You have to lay down for around 15 minutes, but thereafter all normal activities can be resumed.
Q: Do I need to take it easy after an IUI?
A: Most people don’t need to, but if you had cramping or don’t feel well afterward it makes sense to take it easy for short while. Some people reduce their aerobic activity and heavy lifting during the luteal phase in hopes it will increase the chance of implantation. It is more important to take it easy for a bit after IVF, as that is a more invasive process.
Q: How long before an IUI should the male abstain from intercourse/ejaculating and store up sperm?
A: We recommend 2 to 5 days of abstinence.
Q: How soon after an IUI can I have intercourse?
A: Usually you can have intercourse any time after an IUI; most doctors suggest having intercourse, when that is an option, soon after the last IUI to help make sure ovulation is covered. Your doctor may suggest waiting 48 hours to resume relations if you had any bleeding during the IUI.
Q: Can the sperm fall out?
A: Once the sperm is injected into the uterus, it does not fall out. There can, however, be increased wetness after the procedure because of the catheter loosening mucus in the cervix and allowing it to flow out.
Q: How many IUIs should I try before moving on to IVF?
A: It depends on what you can afford and what meds you are doing. We recommend not more than 3 IUI cycles before consider IVF.
Q: Is bleeding common after an IUI?
A: It doesn’t usually happen, but it isn’t uncommon. It is most common to have some bleeding if the doctor had trouble reaching the cervix. Some women also have light bleeding with ovulation.