A medicated IUI cycle helps patients with various fertility challenges become pregnant
Our Indianapolis fertility doctors often recommend a medicated IUI cycle for patients with ovulation difficulties. It can also be a good option for those with fertility challenges like poor cervical mucus or a partner with sperm-related issues.
An IUI, or intrauterine insemination, involves a doctor placing sperm from the patient’s partner or sperm donor into the patient’s uterus. During an IUI cycle with medication, the doctor prescribes an ovulation induction medication. Some examples include Clomid® (clomiphene citrate), Femara® (letrozole) or gonadotropins like Follistim®, Gonal-F® or Menopur®.
Discover why a patient might be a candidate for IUI
Patients with ovaries will receive fertility evaluations like bloodwork and an ultrasound. In the case of a patient with testes, we will order a sperm analysis. Our Indianapolis fertility doctors might recommend IUI if this testing reveals certain fertility challenges.
- Poor cervical mucus
- Cervical scarring
- An abnormally shaped cervix
- Antisperm antibodies
- An abnormal sperm count or low sperm motility (movement)
- Unexplained infertility
In addition to patients with these challenges, single patients with ovaries and patients with ovaries who are in a same-sex relationship can use IUI with donor sperm.
Ovulation induction medications a patient might take before a medicated IUI cycle
If a patient who is a candidate for IUI also has ovulation challenges, the doctor will likely recommend a medicated IUI cycle. Depending on the patient’s needs, the doctor will prescribe one of three common ovulation induction medications.
Clomid. Clomid is an oral medication that triggers ovulation by blocking estrogen receptors and making the body believe it has less estrogen than it does. In response, the body increases the production of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which causes enhanced follicle stimulation and ovulation.
Femara. This oral ovulation induction medication causes the pituitary gland to release FSH and luteinizing hormone (LH). The release of these hormones triggers the growth of eggs.
Gonadotropins. Gonadotropins contain FSH or a mixture of FSH and LH in an injection. This medication triggers egg growth and ovulation.
While these medications commonly stimulate ovulation, factors, such as the patient’s age, egg quality and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), can affect the chance of conceiving after a stimulated IUI cycle.
What to expect from a stimulated IUI cycle
After determining a stimulated IUI cycle is a patient’s best path to parenthood, our Indianapolis fertility doctors guide the patient through each step of this process.
Initial monitoring. After the patient’s period starts, they receive ultrasounds at our clinic during specific days of their cycle.
Tracking ovulation. Ultrasounds and bloodwork allow the doctor to track the patient’s ovulation while they take medications.
Preparing sperm. An important part of a medicated IUI cycle is the patient with testes or the sperm donor providing a sperm sample. A specialist prepares sperm by performing a sperm wash. This process removes semen from the sperm and concentrates the sperm into a small volume.
Transferring sperm into the uterus. The last step of a stimulated IUI cycle for patients taking oral medications involves undergoing insemination the day after ovulation likely occurs. This process consists of the doctor placing sperm into the patient’s uterus using a small catheter. The patient rests for about 15 minutes before resuming normal activity.
Patients taking injectable medication will administer a trigger shot when the doctor determines the largest ovarian follicle is the ideal size. The doctor then performs the insemination 36 hours after the administration of the trigger shot.
Unless the patient starts their period, they receive a pregnancy test at our clinic two weeks after insemination. We can then hopefully give them the good news that they are expecting.
Contact us for more information about a stimulated IUI cycle.