TYPES OF IVF PROCEDURES For the purpose of this article, I’m going to focus on two types of procedures, IUI or Intrauterine Insemination and IVI or Intravaginal Insemination.  Both of these procedures are a type of artificial insemination. Again, because we are a lesbian couple and we were trying to increase the success of fertilization we chose to use the IUI procedure. What is IUI? Intrauterine Insemination or IUI is when the sperm sample is injected, by a doctor, directly above the vagina and the cervix, directly into the uterine cavity using a sterile, flexible catheter.  This means those little sperm don’t have that far to swim in order to get to an egg and fertilize it.  The success rate among each procedure varies, but when combined with Fertility Medications like Clomid or Femera, the success rates increase dramatically. With this procedure it’s important that you have a good motile sperm sample.  You should have between 12-18 million of those little critters alive and kicking.  So it’s important when your picking your sperm sample from a Fertility clinic, you pick a sample from a donor who has had “successful” pregnancies. The IUI procedures and safe and has very low discomfort.  It’s much like having your yearly pelvic exam if done correctly.  The entire procedure itself takes no more than a couple of minutes.  After the procedure is complete, the doctor will ask that you stay in a laying down position for an additional 10 minutes, but after that you can resume normal activities.  Because of the placement of the sperm, above the vagina and the cervix and directly into the uterine cavity, leakage is not an issue. A less expensive procedure is IVI.  What is IVI? Intravaginal Insemination of IVI is when the sperm sample is placed into the vaginal cavity using a sterile catheter as well.  Also some might refer to this as the “Turkey Baster” method, as this procedure could be performed at home by your partner.  One of the disadvantages of this procedure is that you are making the sperm swim a lot farther than they would have to if you chose to use IUI instead.  Knowing that sperm only live 24-48 hours after insemination, you wouldn’t want them using half their life span just trying to swim to the egg and fertilize.  I’d imagine they’d be pretty tired and less likely to have success.  The advantage of this procedure is cost.


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