Ovarian Stimulation and Insemination
A common component of fertility treatment for women is ovarian stimulation. Treatment protocols include oral or injectable medications. These medications are used to stimulate the growth of one or more follicles, depending on the particular diagnosis and aim of treatment. Ovarian stimulation requires monitoring of follicle growth and hormone levels using vaginal ultrasounds and blood tests. These tests are necessary to ensure the safety of treatment, by maximizing the chance of pregnancy while minimizing the risk of multiple pregnancy.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine insemination is a frequently used fertility treatment option. The insemination procedure involves placing either partner or donor sperm into the uterus using a catheter or thin flexible tube. First, a semen sample is ‘washed’ in our laboratory, selecting the healthiest sperm for use in insemination. (Donor sperm often comes pre-washed so this step is not required). Then, the sperm are placed into the uterus using a catheter or thin flexible tube. The insemination is timed to coincide with ovulation. This allows a greater number of quickly moving sperm to reach the egg than is possible with intercourse. IUI may be combined with ovarian stimulation to maximize the chance of pregnancy.
Check out our educational videos related to ovulation stimulation and IUI procedures.
What are my chances of getting pregnant with an IUI procedure?
Pregnancy rates for IUI depend upon a number of factors including age of the woman and sperm quality of the male. When purchased from a reputable distributor, the quality of donor sperm should not be an issue for those women using donor insemination. In general, a healthy woman under the age of 35 can expect a pregnancy rate of about 19% per try. It is common for a woman to undertake multiple inseminations.
What procedures are involved leading up to an insemination?
On your first visit to our clinic, your doctor will review your medical history and order blood tests to determine hormone levels, as well as standard infectious disease testing. Your doctor will also order an ultrasound exam to test for tubal patency (ensure tubes are open) and a baseline ultrasound exam of your uterus. All of this testing is done at specific times during your menstrual cycle. These are standard tests for all fertility patients. All of this is covered by OHIP.
How much should I expect to pay?
All diagnostic tests and consultations leading up to insemination are covered by the provincial health insurance plan (OHIP). In addition, any ultrasound and blood monitoring and the actual insemination are also covered by the Ministry of Health (MOH). If you are using your partner’s sperm, there is a fee of $850 to wash the sperm. If you are using donor sperm, there is a cost to purchase the sperm (approximately $750-850 per vial) as well as fees to document, store and prepare the sperm ($300 per vial). There may be additional costs for medications, if they are required. The need for medications varies for each patient.