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Three Things You May Not Know about Your IUI Cycle

For a new fertility patient, understanding an intrauterine insemination (IUI) cycle can be overwhelming. Perhaps you’ve taken Clomid or an injectable fertility drug prior to starting your IUI cycle. Your fertility doctor has asked you to return for an ultrasound and blood work and although you heard the words “dominant follicles”, you’re confused about what all of this means and what happens next. Here are a few quick tips to help you understand your IUI cycle:

  1. It just takes one. You may have heard this saying before, and if not, it simply means that you just need one egg and one sperm to conceive. Your fertility doctor will monitor follicular growth via ultrasound and blood work. Don’t lose hope if you “only” have one or two follicles. Often, that’s all it takes!
  2. Not all follicles are created equal. The ideal follicle size for taking your hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) “trigger” injection is between 18 and 20 millimeters (mm). Your fertility doctor will measure the size of your dominant follicles with an ultrasound scan and blood work to confirm your hormone levels increased appropriately. Your uterine lining should be between 7 and 8mm, which will also be reported in your blood work results and measured on ultrasound.
  3. There is a chance your cycle could be cancelled. If your fertility doctor notes more than three mature follicles (expected to ovulate more than three eggs), he or she will likely cancel your IUI cycle. As disappointed as you may be, understand your fertility doctor made this call to protect you from the risk of getting pregnant with three or more babies. There are extreme health risks to the mother and children in a high order multiples pregnancy. Patients over the age of 35 may be allowed to continue the cycle with four follicles, but any patient under 35 should not proceed with more than three.

Read more about IUI in these articles on
When to Cancel Your IUI Cycle
IUI or IVF? What to Consider

Looking for a fertility doctor who offers intrauterine insemination (IUI) fertility treatment? Give our Patient Care Coordinators a call at 1-855-955-BABY (2229) or fill out the Contact Fertility Doctors Near Me form.

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