After multiple failed IUI cycles, most patients move on to IVF treatment. For unexplained infertility, IVF is the most successful treatment option for patients who have failed multiple IUIs. Typically, IVF is not recommended until two to three IUI cycles have failed.
IUI is the placement of a concentrated amount of motile sperm directly into a woman’s uterus. IUI is performed in the doctor’s office and requires no anesthesia – similar to a Pap smear. IUI treatment is perfectly timed with ovulation, whether or not fertility medications are used. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm reaching a woman’s fallopian tubes to facilitate egg fertilization.
The production and release of multiple eggs is timed with concentrated sperm insemination.
- The woman’s egg production is stimulated through the administration of oral fertility medications (Clomid or Femara)
- Multiple egg follicles will be produced during one monthly cycle
- The doctor regularly monitors the growth of the woman’s egg follicles through ultrasound imaging and blood tests
- Once the egg follicles have reached a mature stage, ovulation is induced using a medication – the hCG trigger injection
- The hCG injection is performed at home on a set time/date to facilitate the timing of ovulation and insemination of the sperm
- On the day of the IUI procedure, a fresh sperm sample is collected (or a frozen sperm specimen is thawed) and prepared
- Usually two IUIs are performed after the hCG trigger injection – between 12 and 36 hours – to increase the chance of pregnancy in a single cycle
- Progesterone is prescribed daily via suppository to help prepare the woman’s uterine lining for successful implantation of an embryo
- A pregnancy test is scheduled on a date prescribed by the doctor through a blood draw
Candidates for IUI
- Women under 35 who have been unable to get pregnant after one year of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse
- Women over 35 who have been unable to get pregnant after six months of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse
- Women who have failed timed intercourse because of irregular periods
- Women using donated sperm
- Women with mucus problems or other issues preventing sperm from reaching the uterus
- Couples faced with male-factor infertility – low sperm count or poor motility
- Same sex parents
When IVF is the Next Step
IVF circumvents infertility caused by blocked Fallopian tubes. IVF is the surgical harvesting of eggs from a woman’s ovaries and then fertilizing them in vitro using ICSI. Resulting embryos are cultured and monitored for quality development before being transferred to a woman’s uterus – or – cryopreserved for later Frozen Embryo Transfers (FET).
IVF for Fallopian Tube Obstruction
When a woman has blocked Fallopian tubes, conception can be almost impossible and the condition places her at risk for an ectopic pregnancy. A blockage can be in one or both Fallopian tubes. When a blockage exists, sperm cannot reach a viable egg waiting in the Fallopian tube to be fertilized.
The Infertility Doctor
Dr. Laurence A. Jacobs is the Senior Partner of Fertility Centers of Illinois, an internationally renowned fertility clinic having 10 clinic locations and 2 IVF clinics located throughout Chicagoland. After you consult with Dr. Jacobs at either his Hoffman Estates or Buffalo Grove locations, you can choose from all 10 clinics to pursue your customized IVF treatment plan. Schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Jacobs by clicking the icon below – or – call 888.325.7389.