Intrauterine insemination is a simple procedure in which the sperm sample is collected, optimized, and then transferred into a woman’s uterus.
Sometimes during intercourse, it can be difficult for the sperm to find its way to an egg. We use Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) to provide the sperm a helping hand to where it needs to go because sperm normally works its way through the cervical canal and into the uterus. However, in the case of a low sperm count, motility, or if there is a thick cervical mucus, it can be difficult for sperm to make the full journey. This is when our laboratory steps in to help.
First, a semen sample is collected and delivered to our laboratory where it is “washed”. This process separates out any non-mobile sperm, maintaining only the strongest and best. The sperm are then placed into a syringe that is attached to a soft and flexible catheter. A speculum is inserted into the vagina to wipe away any cervical mucus. Next, the tiny catheter is inserted through your cervix into your uterus. Finally, the sperm is slowly injected directly into the uterus, close to the fallopian tubes. This shorter journey makes it much more likely the sperm will reach its target; the entire procedure takes a few minutes and is pain-free.
Afterwards, you will be instructed to lie flat for approximately 10 minutes, allowing the sperm to start to travel up your fallopian tubes. This is where fertilization should take place as the sperm comes into contact with the egg/eggs.