Intra Uterine insemination (IUI ) or Sperm Wash

Is a medical intervention by which we help nature a little bit. The process is very similar to cycle monitoring or induction of ovulation with Letrezole. You do the ultrasound and blood test as needed. When the egg is ready, we give you a trigger shot. The following day, we arrange for the injection procedure- The Intra Uterine Insemination procedure. This is very similar to a pap test, where the prepared sperm sample is injected into the uterus. It is hardly painful. May be the speculum is inconvenient, but we hope not painful.

Where do we get sperm from?

From Partner/Husband: A fresh sample is brought in to the lab. It is then ‘washed’ or prepared in a special way to remove the lazy and abnormally shaped sperm cells, and add nutrients that make the remaining sperm cells function better. The concentrated sample is then injected through a special catheter through the cervix and into the uterus.

Partner may also sometimes leave some samples that are frozen to be used later. This may be for reason of travel at the time of the procedure, or for preservation in case we have lower sperm numbers.

Non ejaculate sperm (TESE, PESE, Testicular biopsies)

If the ejaculate specimen does not have (enough) sperm cells, we sometimes proceed with PESE, TESE procedures. These are mainly used to collect sperm from the testis when we think there may be an obstruction, or may be when we are looking for sperm cells at the level of their production. These procedures are typically done by Urologists (Andrologists in certain jurisdictions). Typically if sperm cells are found, the sample is frozen to be used later. Typically ICSI will be done.

Donor Sperm

If for a variety of reasons we do not have an adequate sample from partner, there is the option of using donor sperm. Examples include same sex partners, no sperm cells in partner’s specimen, known severe congenital disease on the male side of the family, etc.

There is a process that we need to go through to use donor sperm, more details will be given during your orientation session at the center (forms, paperwork, legal stuff, selection process, extra cost, etc).