The instructions for collection of a semen sample that will be used for intrauterine insemination are very similar to the instructions for collection of a sample that will be used for a semen analysis.
There are some differences worth mentioning.
First of all, the sperm that is collected for a semen analysis is for diagnostic purposes only. It is not used for inseminating the partner. The sperm that is collected for an IUI is first examined in the same manner that sperm is examined during a typical analysis. Then, for IUI’s, the sperm is washed in order to remove the seminal plasma (the viscous fluid that is ejaculated) and to concentrate the sperm into a small volume. The seminal plasma must be removed because it will cause uterine cramping if it is injected into the uterus. Normally, the cervical mucous prevents the semen from entering the uterus, while allowing the sperm to swim through it.
Before samples may be processed for IUI, the couple must have completed their infectious disease screening (IDS). Results take 3 to 7 days and must be at your physician’s office before the IUI can be scheduled. When scheduling an IUI, please note that there are two times of day to remember, the time for the husband to drop-off his semen sample at OVA and the time for the wife to have the prepped sample placed into her uterus at your physician’s office. These two appointments have to be separated by enough time to allow the lab staff at OVA to process your sample. In addition, patients should try to have the semen sample at OVA at the scheduled time so that the sample and the other patient’s samples to be processed may be prepared with the proper care and so they will be ready at the time of the IUI appointment.