Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine Insemination, or IUI, is also commonly referred to as artificial insemination. One of the most frequently used treatments for infertility, the procedure involves placing sperm directly inside the uterus through a catheter around the time of ovulation to bypass mucus and other barriers at the uterine entrance and hopefully increase the chances of pregnancy.
The procedure allows a greater number of sperm cells to make it within the vicinity of the egg than typically would through intercourse. We offer IUI for customers from Nashville, Cookeville, Atlanta, Chattanooga, and Knoxville in both our Chattanooga and Knoxville locations.
How It Works
Prior to insemination, the sperm is prepared in our lab to increase concentration and activity. Sperm preparation takes, on average, about an hour and a half, but the procedure itself takes only minutes.
Couples are welcome to leave while the specimen is being prepared and return closer to the procedure time. The IUI is relatively painless, although some women may experience mild cramping.
During the woman's ovulation period, the fertility doctor will take the prepared sperm cells and transfer them directly to the uterus through a hollow catheter. After it is transferred to the uterus, the events of fertilization proceed in a natural way, with the sperm still needing to find and fertilize the egg(s) that have been produced.
In treatment cycles involving IUI, the ovaries have often been stimulated with medications so that more than one egg is released at ovulation, allowing for multiple chances of successful fertilization.
Who Is a Candidate?
Intrauterine insemination is most often used when the sperm count or activity is lower than normal, or when the cause of conception difficulties is undetermined. IUI is commonly used as a first course of treatment, but if multiple attempts are unsuccessful, a couple may meet with their doctor to discuss moving to IVF.
The Risks of IUI
Since it is a fairly simple procedure, there are very few risks associated with intrauterine insemination. Two potential risks to be aware of are the possibility of infection and the potential for minor vaginal bleeding as a result of the procedure.
Neither of these should have any impact on the success of a potential pregnancy, but it is always important to be aware of the potential risks associated with any new procedure!
The Fertility Center offers IUI services for clients from Nashville, Atlanta, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and beyond. Our two offices are both in Chattanooga and Knoxville. Click to contact us for more information on IUI today!