Intrauterine Insemination, Los Angeles By on June 26, 2013

Intrauterine Insemination

Artificial insemination is one of the most common fertility treatments.  While historically it was only used in cases of severe “male factor”  the indications for the use of IUI has now expanded to options for same sex couples, unexplained infertility and others.  

The procedure of Intrauterine Insemination requires the collection and preparation of the sperm in specialized laboratories.  The semen can be collected in a sterile cup via masturbation or regular intercourse (using appropriate condoms) either at home, and then transported to the laboratory, or in the laboratory.  The semen is then prepared for either an intrauterine insemination “IUI”, intracervical insemination “ICI” or a vaginal insemination. Prior to performing an intra-uterine insemination, the male partner needs to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

Once ejaculated the sperm is examined and processed by the andrologist in preparation for the insemination. The preparation can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the type of processing that is performed.

There are many different methods that are used to prepare the sperm . The three most common methods are:

1.       Simple washing of the sperm: the sperm is washed in a simple media and centrifuged. This method is usually used when the number of sperm is very low.

2.       “Swim up”  and gradient centrifugation – both of those techniques  allow selection of the most vital sperms to ether “swim up” to the surface of the media used or swim down passing through different density gradients of media.  In both cases the best sperm will make it to the bottom or top of the vials and this will be the sperm that will be used for the insemination.   A disadvantage of those techniques is a decrease in the number of sperm. The biggest advantage is selecting and concentrating the most viable sperm.

The procedure of intrauterine insemination  is usually done in the office and requires very little preparation and time ( 1-2 minutes).  The women is placed in a lithotomy position, the cervical mucus is gentlly removed and using a small catheter made out of plastic, the sperm  is gently injected into the cervix when ICI is performed or the uterine cavity when IUI is performed.  The patient is then kept in a supine position for 10-15 minutes after which she is able to resume her normal daily activity with minimal restrictions.

The intrauterine insemination can be performed during “natural” cycles in which the female ovulation is followed with ether specialized ovulation kits or pelvic sonogram. The intauterine insemination is then performed as close to ovulation as possible. The intrauterine insemination can also be combined with other fertility treatments that stimulate the growth of the follicles.

The success  of intrauterine insemination depends on multiple factors such as the quality of the sperm, the age of the female partner as  well as other underlying fertility issues and range anywhere from 3%-10% fecundity per cycle. The success rate is higher (in cases of severe male factor) if  donor sperm is used and/or the insemination is combined with other fertility treatments that enhance the number of eggs that are released. 

If you would like to have more information on intrauterine insemination please contact our office at "paula@center4fertility.com"

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The Center for Fertility and Gynecology

The Center for Fertility and Gynecology provides cutting-edge medical care in a patient-oriented and supportive setting. Drs. Michael Vermesh and Tannaz Toloubeydokhti offer all couples the best possible evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of male and female infertility. Our experienced physicians are affiliated with:

  • American Association of Gynecologic Laparascopists
  • ACOG: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • American Medical Association
  • ASRM: American Society for Reproductive Medicine
  • Pacific Coast Reproductive Society
  • Resolve: The National Infertility Association
  • SREI: Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
  • The Seed Fertility Program

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