IUI or artificial insemination is a type of artificial insemination in which sperm are injected directly into the uterine cavity near the time of ovulation. The doctor may recommend IUI to treat many causes of infertility, especially when there is a problem with the sperm, such as low sperm count or low motility (the sperm do not move well). IUI bypasses the cervix so it is a useful treatment if there is an incompatibility between the sperm and the cervical mucus. IUI is also an option when the man is unable to ejaculate inside the woman’s vagina (because of impotence, premature ejaculation, or other medical conditions). This procedure can be performed either with your partner’s sperm or with sperm from a donor.
Clomid and Femara Therapy
Dr. Henry may order Clomid (generic: Clomiphene Citrate) or Femara (generic: Letrozole) therapy. These are both oral pills that you will start taking on either cycle day 3, 4, or 5. These medications help stimulate your ovaries to make follicles, which are the fluid filled sacs that house eggs. Femara was a drug initially used to treat breast cancer and a positive side effect noted was follicle production. Every woman’s therapy is individualized and tailored to optimize ovarian response. You will be scheduled to have ultrasounds to check how your ovaries are responding to the medications. This will determine the best date for the insemination. When your follicles are mature, you will be instructed to take the hCG injection. The purpose of this injection is to help give the eggs a final “boost” to maturity and to induce ovulation. Ovulation occurs 36-40 hours post injection. Clomid and Femara may be used for up to 3 cycles based on ovarian response. The dosage of Clomid may be increased if the follicle development was less than ideal. Sometimes a baseline ultrasound may be ordered before starting another round of medication to ensure that your ovaries are free of cysts. With poor ovarian response or 3 failed cycles of Clomid or Femara, you will need to schedule a follow up appointment with Dr.Henry to decide the next step.
Insemination with Donor Sperm
Using donor sperm with insemination is an option in many situations. Same sex couples who want to start a family, for example, or a male factor infertility issue where donor sperm is the only option. There are many reasons. Sperm can be ordered from a list of FDA approved sperm banks. You will need to undergo a full panel of infectious disease testing in order to receive donor sperm.