Infertility is a common struggle for individuals trying to conceive. Fortunately, there are multiple fertility treatments that address fertility issues so people can experience the joy of parenthood.
Many people find success with intrauterine insemination, or IUI. IUI is a minimally invasive and straightforward fertility technique that is more affordable than IVF.
Individuals in the Scottsdale, AZ, and Gilbert, AZ, area who have questions about the IUI procedure can learn more from the fertility specialists at Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health. Here, we provide an overview of the typical IUI timeline.
Before patients can undergo IUI treatment, we must perform a fertility evaluation. Diagnostic testing gives our doctors a clearer understanding of what may be causing infertility, and lets us know if IUI is an appropriate treatment technique. This planning and diagnostic phase of treatment can take two to three months.
Once IUI has been determined as an appropriate treatment plan, we need to align treatment with the patient’s menstrual cycle. Our patients should contact us on day one of their menstrual cycle (the first day of active bleeding), so that treatment can begin.
Once a patient’s menstrual cycle has begun, we will schedule an appointment as soon as possible. At this appointment we take some blood and run a few minor tests. These tests give us hormonal readings that allow our doctors to prescribe the right type and dose of fertility medication. Fertility medication stimulates the ovaries so that multiple mature eggs are produced during the menstrual cycle. Patients should start taking fertility medication as soon as they receive them, being sure to use them exactly as directed.
After patients have completed their fertility medication, a follow-up appointment occurs. Our doctors will run more blood work and talk to the patient about any side effects they have been experiencing. It is important that we monitor hormone levels so that any necessary adjustments can be made to the patient’s fertility medication.
Prior to their IUI procedure, patients are instructed to administer a trigger shot. This shot contains hCG, a hormone that stimulates the release of mature eggs. The trigger shot may take place anytime between days 7 and 16 of the menstrual cycle. Our doctors provide each patient with specific instructions regarding when to administer the shot. It is essential that patients follow these instructions precisely, since this is what we time the IUI procedure around.
The day after the trigger shot patients will undergo their IUI procedure. The IUI procedure is minimally invasive and is performed without the use of anesthesia. The procedure is actually very similar to a pap smear screening. A thin, flexible catheter is inserted into the vagina and passed through the cervix to reach the uterus. The catheter holds a small sample of washed sperm. The sperm is released into the cervix, where it is hoped that they will fertilize an egg. The entire procedure is completed in a matter of minutes.
The final stage of IUI treatment is a pregnancy test to determine if the procedure has been a success. Patients return to our office for a blood pregnancy test approximately two weeks after their IUI procedure. As tempting as it may be to perform an at-home pregnancy test before this date, patients are urged not to do so, since fertility medication can result in false test results.
IUI is a simple and affordable fertility treatment that offers promising results. If you would like to learn more about the IUI procedure, and whether you may be an ideal candidate for this technique, we urge you to contact the team of fertility specialists at Arizona Associates for Reproductive Health. You can call our office at (480) 860-4792.