So you have met with your doctor and the recommended next step is either fertility pills (Clomid, Serophene, Letrazole, Tamoxifen) or injectables (Follistim, Gonal-F, Bravelle, Menopur) with IUI. What is an IUI? It stands for intrauterine insemination. Here are the details. Cycle monitoring and timing of IUI have been discussed in previous blogs will therefore skip those steps and go directly to the IUI process.
On the morning of the IUI your partner will be given an appointment to come in to produce a sperm sample. If he is not available on that day, we can use a previously frozen sample for IUI. That’s right; your partner doesn’t even need to be in the same country for you to get pregnant! Patients using donor sperm will have a sample thawed and processed on the morning of the IUI.
You come in at your appointment time and one of the first questions is, “Can I go to the bathroom?” You can but it sometimes a full bladder makes the IUI easier as it can help to straighten out your cervix. You are called back and the nurse goes over the “numbers” with you. We do like to see the total number of motile sperm to be over 10 million but remember, it only takes 1. You assume that lovely position that we have all come to love. A speculum is inserted just like when you have your PAP. The cervix is cleaned with a large Q-Tip to remove excess mucus (which is normal and it will come back). The tip of a catheter with an attached syringe loaded with the sperm is passed through the cervix into the upper 1/3 of your uterus. The syringe plunger is next pushed to deposit the sperm. The catheter and finally the speculum are removed.
That’s it! You’re done. You don’t need to lay. If we hung you upside down by your ankles it WILL NOT improve your chances. You can go about your daily routine. The only difference is, now we ask that you treat yourself as if you are pregnant. No baths, pools or hot tubs. This includes staying out of Lake Michigan. Avoid wave runners. Stay off the backs of horses. No speed tubing either. Remember, you are supposed to treat yourself as if you are pregnant. You can take Tylenol for cramping which would be normal.
Can anything go wrong? Not really. The unexpected things that can happen would be the tip of the catheter touching the lining of the uterus. This unfortunately causes a cramp and it should subside quickly but it does NOT “hurt” the uterus or the chances of you getting pregnant. Unfortunately, we can’t see the inside of the uterus and if your uterus tilts in such a direction it can happen. We apologize for this and correct the position as soon as you jump.
You can also have some spotting afterwards. Again, this doesn’t mean that anything is wrong. Your cervix becomes very vascular and if you just touch it, it can start to bleed. Just wear a panty liner and follow the rest of your instructions.
I have been a nurse since 1993. I have worked in different areas such as,
vascular surgery, internal medicine, dermatology and Infertility.
I have not only been working in the infertiltiy field for 8 years, I was also a
patient where I now work. I feel that this gives me an edge with the patients
because "I have been where you are."
People always ask, "Did it work?" My son is 12 and we are very happy and