5. What to expect with IUI treatment?
Prior to beginning IUI treatment, patients will need to undergo initial fertility assessment and diagnostic testing.
Several office visits for transvaginal ultrasounds and blood work may be required during your cycle. The ultrasounds aid in monitoring follicle development and uterine lining thickening. The bloodwork tracks follicle growth. As a follicle grows and its egg matures, the estrogen level in the blood rises.
A spike in LH (luteinizing hormone) levels occurs just before ovulation, helping in determining the best time for your IUI procedure. When this occurs, your your physician or your fertility nurse will advise you on when to take your “trigger medication” or a “trigger shot” to time ovulation.
You will return to the clinic approximately 12 hours after you ovulate and provide a sperm sample on the day of the procedure, or the donor sperm will be thawed and prepared for insemination.
The sperm sample provided will be taken to the lab to be “washed.” This procedure removes impurities and isolates the most potent, high-quality sperm to be delivered directly to your uterus. The process of sperm washing increases the likelihood of fertilization.
The IUI procedure is typically a few minutes and painless. A speculum is inserted into the vagina, and a very thin catheter containing washed sperm is guided through the cervix to place the sperm in the uterus. Most patients experience little to no discomfort, and sedation is not necessary.
A beta hCG test will be administered 14 days after your IUI procedure to determine if you are pregnant. This test detects pregnancy at an early stage by measuring the level of hCG hormone in your blood.