Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is one of several infertility treatments that uses a small catheter to insert “washed” sperm directly into the uterus in a process similar to a pap smear. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of good sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a procedure first successfully utilized in 1978 in which a woman’s ovaries are stimulated with fertility drugs to produce multiple mature eggs, which are then removed from her body and are fertilized in the laboratory with her partner’s (or donor) sperm. The resulting embryos are cultured for three to five days, at which point the best 1 or 2 embryos are then transferred back into her uterus.
Patients in need of viable eggs have the option of working with an agency to select an egg donor. Many factors will be taken into account when choosing a donor, from overall health to genetic history.
When a woman is unable to carry a baby due to physiological restrictions, she may use a gestational surrogate (GS). The IVF clinic needs to be intimately involved and familiar with the process in order to manage a donor/surrogate cycle effectively.