Whereas ART techniques can be used on a woman with blocked fallopian tubes, intrauterine insemination (IUI) can only be employed in the case of women whose tubes are fully functioning because it's vital to know that eggs can reach the uterus. Doctors will often perform a tubal patency test to check the fallopian tubes. Here are some methods through which this can be done:
- Gas insufflation, where carbon dioxide gas fills the uterus and pressure is monitored to check for blockages
- Laparoscopy, or a small incision through which a viewing scope is inserted
After a woman's fallopian tubes are known to function properly, doctors can perform an intrauterine insemination. In this procedure, a man's sperm is "washed" in a laboratory to separate fast-moving sperm from sluggish swimmers. Then, it's injected into the uterus using a catheter close to the time of ovulation.
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