Artificial Insemination Procedure
Artificial insemination is a procedure performed in the office by which prepared sperm is placed into the uterus using a small catheter inserted through the cervix. Sperm can be from your partner or a donor, depending on your situation and needs, but all sperm is prepared through a series of washes that remove substances that can lead to cramping or shock. Once the sperm is washed, it can remain viable for 24-48 hours.
Intrauterine insemination is often performed if you have been unsuccessful with timed intercourse, or, if it has been determined that your cervical mucus is inadequate, the sperm and mucus do not interact normally or your mucus is hostile to the sperm causing it to become nonviable. In the case of sperm-mucus incompatibility, IUI allows the sperm to bypass the cervical barrier enabling them to move into the fallopian tube and reach the egg.
There are several variations to the insemination procedure. Taking medications to stimulate the ovary to produce multiple follicles and release of more than one egg is one of the most common.
Intrauterine insemination may increase your potential to achieve pregnancy to 20%/cycle. If a couple does not achieve pregnancy after three to six cycles, they may wish to progress to a more aggressive procedure.