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Ovulation Induction and Intrauterine Insemination

Sometimes called “artificial insemination,” IUI infertility treatment involves the placement of specially prepared sperm from the male partner (or donor) into the woman’s womb.

This usually is preceded by ovulation induction, which means taking fertility medications to ovulate or to ovulate better. When the plan is to do an IUI, almost always only an oral pill, either clomiphene citrate (Clomid) or letrozole (Femara), are used. Generally, only 1-3 follicles that can contain mature eggs are produced with these medications. For women who don’t normally ovulate, sometimes only the medication is needed, especially if her partner’s sperm is normal.

Ultrasounds are used as part of the infertility treatment to follow the growth of the follicles. When they get to the right size, they will either ovulate (release the egg) on their own or you will take an injection to cause ovulation. At a time or times based on the expected time of ovulation, the sperm sample is produced and prepared in a laboratory to select the best sperm. And then these are put into the uterus (through the cervix) using a special catheter.

We care very much about these types of cycles and have learned over the years of infertility treatment that outstanding pregnancy rates can be obtained if everything is done as it should be done. We do not pass these off to nurses. Instead, a fertility specialist monitors each cycle to ensure that pregnancy rates are as high as possible.