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Getting pregnant is difficult to come couple. An intrauterine insemination (IUI) is one the possible fertility treatments that can help. It may be used for either male or female infertility. Compared to some other fertility treatments, IUI is less invasive. Here’s what to expect after an IUI procedure, courtesy of New York Reproductive Wellness.

IUI Basics

Before moving on to treatments like IUI, you and your partner should have a fertility evaluation. Conception problems can occur with either the man or woman in a couple. Sometimes it is a combination of both that causes difficulties, as when a woman’s body has a negative reaction – like an allergy – to her partner’s sperm. IUI is useful in cases of mild endometriosis and ovulation irregularities in women, and low sperm counts in men. Fertility medications are prescribed to promote ovulation and the male partner is asked to abstain from ejaculation for several days prior to the procedure. The sperm is washed and the doctor inserts it into the woman’s uterus with a catheter.

Immediately After an IUI Procedure

It’s common for clinics to have you remain to lie down for a little while after the procedure. This isn’t to prevent sperm from leaking out, but to make sure you aren’t light-headed or having cramps. It’s OK to resume your normal activities if you feel up to it, but this can be an emotionally intense day, and it’s often better to take it easy for a day or two. Strenuous exercise is not recommended. You should avoid swimming or bathing for a few days to reduce any possible chance of infection, although it’s fine to shower. You may have some slight vaginal bleeding (spotting) or discharge and you may also experience mild cramping. Fertility doctors often encourage sexual intercourse about 48 hours after IUI, as it can make the uterus contract and move sperm up toward the fallopian tubes and egg.

Implantation and Pregnancy Testing

Your doctor will time IUI so the procedure is performed within a few hours after you ovulate. The egg remains viable for about 12 to 24 hours; sperm and egg must meet during this narrow window to achieve conception. Once the egg is fertilized, it travels down the fallopian tube and implants itself in the uterus, which takes between three and 12 days. In about 40 percent of women, implantation occurs by the 9th day after ovulation. Common signs of implantation include vaginal spotting and cramping, or a feeling of fullness in the abdomen. However, a pregnancy test is necessary to confirm that pregnancy has indeed occurred. Home pregnancy tests are not recommended as they can give false positives; you should wait 14 days and have a blood test.

As one of the leading reproductive clinics in New York City, IUI is only one of the options New York Reproductive Wellness offers. Please contact us to discuss in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or other possible techniques. We will be happy to answer questions on fertility topics. We can also schedule you for an appointment.

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