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Reproductive Technology

Intrauterine Insemination

Intrauterine insemination is used when a couple's inability to conceive a child is caused by the sperm's inability to reach the egg. Sperm must move through the uterus and enter the fallopian tube before they can fertilize the egg. Anything that prevents the sperm from making this trip will block conception. Coital or ejaculatory disorders can limit the sperm's travels, sperm antibodies in the female reproductive tract can kill the sperm, and sperm may be unable to penetrate the cervical mucus.

To help the sperm reach the egg, the female is treated with human chorionic gonadotropin to induce multiple ovulation. The number of follicles that are induced is monitored by ultrasound. Washed sperm from the male partner are injected through the cervical opening, into the uterus. The pregnancy rate using this procedure is about 10 percent.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaGenetics in Medicine - Part 4Reproductive Technology - Pregnancy And Infertility, In Vitro Fertilization, The Risks Of Ivf, Embryo Transfer Techniques, Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer