New York Cryo, our New York State Licensed sperm bank is also licensed for processing of semen specimen for IUI (intrauterine insemination) on request of a licensed practitioner. We can process the specimen by various methods as specified by your doctor and as required by your specimen quality.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a form of therapeutic insemination (TI) using either the husband’s (AIH) or donor (AID) sperm. Therapeutic insemination has been used as treatment for infertile couples for many years. More recently, IUI has become an option for many couples prior to considering more complicated and expensive assisted reproductive treatment such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).
IUI involves bypassing the cervical mucus barrier and depositing a concentrated population of motile spermatozoa, washed free of seminal plasma, directly into the uterus. This is performed by your doctor (usually your gynecologist) as close to the time of ovulation as possible. Many different sperm washing techniques can be used, e.g., Density gradient centrifugation, buffered wash, swim-up. The choice of technique will depend on the quality of semen on analysis of the specimen.
IUI is now being used in infertile couples demonstrating abnormal male or female factors, or both.
Since government guidelines recommend the use of only frozen sperm for donor insemination, we must act accordingly. In addition, we have found that using IUI results in an increased pregnancy rate and requires fewer sperm per insemination.
Data from several programs has indicated success rates for IUI with husband’s sperm ranging between 5%-40%. Most agree that there should be a period of at least six months with documented ovulation and accurately timed IUI before treatment is considered a failure and an alternate therapy is considered. IUI with donor sperm has a range of success between 40%-70%.
A semen analysis is required prior to or at the time of the first processing to evaluate the quality of the specimen and to help in determining the best method to use for processing. Certain blood testing might be requested. These tests will be determined by your doctor For donor insemination, there might be other tests performed as requested by your doctor
Accurate timing of ovulation is crucial to achieving a pregnancy with IUI. Several methods can be used to determine the time of ovulation: basal body temperature monitoring (BBT), ovulation predictor kits (e.g., Ovuquick™), and follicular ultrasounds. The use of follicular ultrasounds and at home kits is often used to determine the time of ovulation. Your gynecologist most commonly will decide how ovarian monitoring will take place. To schedule IUI call your doctor’s office (and our office) at the beginning of the menstrual cycle. Ultrasounds and a tentative date for the IUI will be scheduled. Depending on the ultrasound reports, the IUI may need to be rescheduled within a day or so of the tentative date. Working closely with our office will help alleviate any misunderstanding and allow for accurate timing of the insemination.
Semen processing takes at least one hour (usually 1-2 hours). Due to the fact that several couples may need IUIs on the same day, and that we process only one specimen at a time, it is essential to be as prompt as possible and to keep your scheduled time for processing and IUI.
The IUI is performed in your doctor’s office, by your doctor or the nurse. It is usually painless, simple, and quick.
After the specimen has been processed, it will be placed directly into the uterus using a small catheter which passes the cervical canal. A special sponge might be placed in the vagina and will be removed by you after five hours. You will usually remain in the procedure room on your back for about 15 minutes; you will then leave and can resume normal activity. It is recommended that you not perform high-impact aerobic activities or heavy lifting until pregnancy has been determined.
On rare occasions, slight bleeding may be noted and some abdominal cramping. Very rarely, infections or allergic reactions may result from an IUI. Allergic reactions in response to insemination, although exceedingly infrequent, may range from vaginal itching to generalized anaphylaxis.
Should any problems arise after the procedure, contact your doctor immediately.