How to prepare for an IUI procedure

An intrauterine insemination treatment (IUI) could be your answer to your infertility problems. An IUI procedure usually comprises of three steps:

  1. You may be asked to take infertility drugs and your ovulation cycle will be monitored
  2. A sperm sample will be specially washed and prepared for insemination
  • Your doctor will inject the prepared sperm into your uterus

How to get ready for the IUI treatment

Before undergoing IUI treatment for pregnancy, you will have to visit a fertility specialist and have a pre IUI examination. During the checkup, your doctor will assess if you are healthy enough to support a pregnancy. Your doctor will particularly check your hormone levels and uterus health. Prior to the IUI treatment, your doctor may start you off with ovulating drugs, while constantly monitoring you using blood tests and ultrasound. This monitoring helps your doctor ensure that you are producing healthy eggs. It also helps your doctor determine the ideal timing to inject the sperm. You may also have to take an additional test which lets you know when ovulation is going to happen. Right before ovulation, there is a surge in luteinizing hormone (LH). Ovulation occurs a couple of days after the LH surge. Based on the results of the test, your doctor will determine the optimal time to inject the sperm for a successful conception.

Preparing the sperm for IUI

The sperm will be washed and prepared for the IUI procedure.The washing helps remove potentially toxic chemicals possibly present in the sperm. These chemicals could trigger an allergic reaction which could hinder pregnancy. Washing the sperm also helps in minimizing cramping that occurs sometimes after an IUI procedure. Preparing the sperm also concentrates it in high volume. This high concentration assists the healthiest, most mobile sperm in reachingthe egg which in turn helps increase IUI success rates.

Insertion of sperm during IUI

The process of injecting the sperm into your uterus is quick and nearly painless. This step of the IUI process takes a couple of hours at the most. You will be asked to lie down on the exam table just as you do for a pelvic exam. A very small, thin, and flexible catheter will be inserted into your cervix and the washed sample is injected right into your uterus.

You will be asked to lie down for a while post the IUI procedure. It is good idea to bring along your partner, a friend or a good book to read while you are waiting. Bringing along someone supportive would help stay calm.

These are some of the steps you can take to prepare for IUI treatment for pregnancy. Get as much information you can on the procedure and support on the day of the insemination for a smoother IUI treatment.

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