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.
To learn more about infertility and conception, check out the links below.
- Better Health Channel. "Salpingitis." June 2010. (Nov. 29, 2010)http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Salpingitis
- Bowen, R. " Gonadotropins: Luteinizing and Follicle Stimulating Hormones." Colorado State University. May 13, 2004. (Nov. 26, 2010)http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrine/hypopit/lhfsh.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)." Oct. 21, 2010. (Nov. 23, 2010)http://www.cdc.gov/art/
- Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority. "What is intrauterine insemination (IUI) and how does it work?" April 15, 2009. (Dec. 1, 2010)http://www.hfea.gov.uk/IUI.html
- India Parenting. "Tubal Patency Tests." 2010. (Dec. 2, 2010)http://www.indiaparenting.com/fertility-issues/48_3172/tubal-patency-tests.html
- iVillage, Inc. "Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Information." Dec. 21, 2001. (Nov. 27, 2010)http://www.ivillage.com/basal-body-temperature-bbt-information/6-a-144562
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. "Healthy sperm: Improving your fertility." Dec. 16, 2008. (Nov. 23, 2010)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fertility/MC00023
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. "Infertility." June 27, 2009. (Nov. 23, 2010)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/infertility/DS00310
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. "Intrauterine insemination (IUI)." April 28, 2010. (Nov. 25, 2010)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/intrauterine-insemination/MY00104
- Medline Plus. "Premature Ovarian Failure." Aug. 1, 2010. (Nov. 29, 2010)http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/prematureovarianfailure.html
- National Institutes of Health. "Do I Have Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)?" Aug. 29, 2006. (Dec. 1, 2010)http://www.nichd.nih.gov/publications/pubs/pof/sub1.cfm#what
- National Institutes of Health. "Infertility/Fertility." Oct. 30, 2006. (Nov. 23, 2010)http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/infertility_fertility.cfm
- National Institutes of Health. "Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)." May 25, 2007. (Nov. 27, 2010)http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/Polycystic_Ovary_Syndrome.cfm
- The National Women's Health Information Center. "Infertility: Frequently Asked Questions." July 1, 2009. (Nov. 27, 2010)http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/infertility.cfm#m
- The National Women's Health Information Center. "Polycystic Ovary Syndrome." March 17, 2010. (Nov. 25, 2010)http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.cfm
- Nippoldt, Todd B., M.D. "Abnormal sperm morphology: What does it mean?" Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Nov. 5, 2010. (Nov. 23, 2010)http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/sperm-morphology/AN01305
- Radiological Society of North America. "Hysterosalpingography." March 15, 2010. (Nov. 26, 2010)http://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info.cfm?pg=hysterosalp
- University Hospital and Medical Center at Stony Brook, Male Infertility Program. "Understanding Semen Analysis." March 23, 2001. (Nov. 24, 2010)http://www.umc.sunysb.edu/urology/male_infertility/SEMEN_ANALYSIS.html
HowStuffWorks looks at whether women dealing with fertility issues are more likely to conceive naturally after they adopt or get pregnant with IVF.