Ovulation Induction and IUI
At Fertility Specialists of Houston we believe it is essential for our patients to understand what is happening to them every step of the way. We want you to maintain a feeling of control about the process. After your initial consultation our physician will be able to determine a preliminary diagnosis and make testing recommendations.
Once the initial work-up is complete and test results are reviewed, a diagnosis can be pinpointed and a treatment plan begun. We will educate you thoroughly about your particular diagnosis, but we have provided an overview below. Please contact us if you have any questions about this information or your own specific situation.
Ovulation Induction (OI) is commonly referred to as "fertility drugs"--used to stimulate the follicles in your ovaries--resulting in the production of multiple eggs in one cycle. Because these medications contain powerful hormones, their effects are monitored closely by blood tests and ultrasound.
Following stimulation during an OI cycle, our physicians may recommend couples to engage in intercourse since that is the best possible time for pregnancy. In other cases, our physicians may perform an artificial insemination. Because fertilization is most likely to occur closest to the time of ovulation, intercourse and/or an insemination procedure must be timed accordingly. Our physicians will monitor your progress closely and help you determine when the best time to conceive might be.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a minor procedure that we perform in our offices that places sperm directly into a woman's uterus with a small catheter while she is ovulating. This course of action places a large concentration of sperm directly into the upper uterus so that they are closer to the fallopian tubes, and have a shorter distance to travel to fertilize an egg. The method, called insemination, uses a thin flexible catheter that our physicians pass through vagina and cervix and into the uterus. Most of our patients experience little or no discomfort. An IUI can be performed with sperm from the male partner or a donor, and is often combined with ovulation induction (OI) or controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH).
Prior to insemination, the sperm are typically washed and concentrated. Concentration is accomplished by selectively choosing highly active, healthy sperm that are more capable of fertilizing an egg. Donor sperm can be used if the male partner has no sperm or has an extremely low sperm count or carries a risk of genetic disease. Women that are planning to conceive without a male partner can also use donor sperm.
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