Intrauterine insemination, also known as artificial insemination, is a procedure done to help a woman get pregnant.
A woman’s reproductive system includes the vagina
cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
During the monthly menstrual cycle, one of her ovaries releases an egg in a process called ovulation.
After ovulation, the egg enters a fallopian tube.
A woman is most likely to become pregnant if she has sex in the days just before, during, or right after ovulation.
During this time, a sperm cell from a man’s reproductive fluid, called semen, is able to fertilize her egg as it moves through the fallopian tube.
Intrauterine insemination may be performed if a woman is having trouble getting pregnant, a condition known as infertility.
Or, it may be done if a woman wants to have a child without a male partner.
Before intrauterine insemination, a woman may receive fertility medication that causes her to release more than one egg during ovulation.
In a process called sperm washing, a man’s sperm will be separated from the fluid in his semen.
This concentrates the sperm, removes debris, and removes hormones that may cause the uterus to cramp.
If the male partner is completely infertile, also known as sterile, or if the woman does not have a male partner,
previously washed and frozen donor sperm will be used for the procedure.
The doctor will monitor the ovaries for ovulation.
Intrauterine insemination must be performed right before or right after a woman ovulates so that an egg is available for fertilization.
During the procedure, the woman will lie on an examination table.
A tool called a speculum will be inserted into her vagina so that the doctor can see her cervix.
A syringe will be loaded with a small amount of fluid containing the washed sperm.
Then the syringe will be attached to a long, thin tube, called a catheter.
The doctor will insert the catheter into the vagina.
The tip of the catheter will be guided through the opening in the cervix and into the uterus.
Once the catheter is inside the uterus, the doctor will inject the sperm.
Then, the catheter and speculum will be removed.
The woman may continue lie on her back for about ten minutes .