Intrauterine insemination involves careful coordination before the actual procedure:
- Preparing the semen sample. Your partner provides a semen sample at the doctor's office, or a vial of frozen donor sperm can be thawed and prepared. Because nonsperm elements in semen can cause reactions in the woman's body that interfere with fertilization, the sample will be washed in a way that separates the highly active, normal sperm from lower quality sperm and other elements. The likelihood of achieving pregnancy increases by using a small, highly concentrated sample of healthy sperm.
- Monitoring for ovulation. Because the timing of IUI is crucial, monitoring for signs of impending ovulation is critical. To do this, you might use an at-home urine ovulation predictor kit that detects when your body produces a surge or release of luteinizing hormone (LH). Or, an imaging method that lets your doctor visualize your ovaries and egg growth (transvaginal ultrasound) can be done. You also may be given an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) to make you ovulate one or more eggs at the right time.
- Determining optimal timing. Most IUIs are done a day or two after detecting ovulation. Your doctor should have a plan spelled out for the timing of your IUI.