IUI is a first-line of treatment especially for younger women in cases of no severe infertility. Factors like low quality sperm and unfriendly cervical mucus can be successfully overcome with this method. The aim of this method is to increase the chances of fertilization of the egg.
IUI is performed on the day of ovulation. The semen sample is properly prepared in the lab. The purpose of sperm preparation is to concentrate the motile spermatozoa in a fraction, which is free of seminal plasma and debris. A small aliquot of sperm (0.5ml) containing the motile spermatozoa is then injected into the uterine cavity using a special catheter. IUI can also be performed using donor sperm in cases of male azoospermia. A pregnancy test is done 2 weeks later.
Ovarian Stimulation (Ovulation Induction)
There are two different methods of ovulation induction. The first is used for women who are not ovulating spontaneously (irregular or infrequent menstruation). In such cases, the aim is to stimulate the release of one egg a month. This is most easily done by prescribing fertility pills, such as Clomiphene. If this medication is not effective, then injections of a small dose of synthetic follicle stimulating hormones may be necessary.
In the second situation, the woman is ovulating spontaneously but has unexplained infertility or her partner has mild male-factor infertility. In such a case, the aim of ovulation induction is to stimulate the production of 2 to 4 large follicles, so that several eggs will be released. This is most easily achieved by injections of synthetic follicle stimulating hormones. This treatment is combined with intra uterine insemination (IUI) to bring the sperm closer to the egg.
All women using these medications are monitored with vaginal ultrasound scans to observe the response of the follicles in the ovary. Once the leading follicle(s) reaches 18 mm in diameter, the egg is considered mature and ready for ovulation. You may need 2 to 4 scans during one treatment cycle. The different drugs used for ovarian stimulation are:
- Clomiphene Citrate
- synthetic follicle stimulating hormones (FSH and LH)
- Human Chorionic synthetic follicle stimulating hormones (hCG)
At Embio We automatically count and measure the follicles in order to increase the reliability of the ultrasound scans.
You may also want to read:
Ovarian Stimulation Protocols for IVF