What is an ICI?

What is an ICI

ICI is Intra-Cervical Insemination

ICI stands for Intra-Cervical Insemination and is a process some people use to get pregnant. The name is a little misleading, because semen is inserted into the vagina, not into the cervix.

This is sometimes called the “turkey baster” method, because it’s possible to use a turkey baster or needle-free syringe to draw up the semen, then insert it into the vagina near the cervix. This is a very easy procedure to do at home, and can be very effective.

If you are buying frozen sperm, you will need to know if you plan to do ICI or IUI because the preparation for the sperm sample will be different. If you are using fresh sperm, no extra preparation is needed.

The timing of ICI is very important. You will need to use an ovulation predictor kit (OPK) daily, which will tell you when your luteinizing hormone is surging just before ovulation. Once you get a positive result on the OPK, you will release an egg about 24 hours later.

Some people using the ICI method for fertility will also be taking fertility medication to help support healthy ovulation. Some are prescribed Clomid or Letrozole, and some will have a ‘trigger shot’ to trigger ovulation. If you are working with a medical provider, they can help you decide what’s best for you.

To clarify:  ICI is completely different from ICSI, which is another common fertility term. – ICSI refers to Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection, where a single sperm is injected directly into the egg in a lab during IVF (In Vitro fertilization). ICI, on the other hand, is a simple procedure you can do at home to try to get pregnant.

If you’re planning for an ICI, acupuncture can help you be ready to conceive. It has been shown to be very helpful in improving egg quality, supporting ovulation and menstrual cycles, and helping maintain a pregnancy.

Starting regular acupuncture about 3 months prior to trying to get pregnant offers the best results. Your fertility acupuncturist can help guide you through the process to make it easier to understand, and increase your chances of success sooner.

Regardless of how you plan to get pregnant, we would be delighted to be part of your care team. Contact us at Portland Acupuncture Studio to learn how we can help you get pregnant soon.

Established patients can schedule online, patients who haven’t seen us at Kwan Yin Healing Center call (503) 701-8766, or email us to schedule your appointment.

About Lisa Tongel

We are practitioners of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine specializing in fertility, IVF support, pregnancy care, reproductive health, and pelvic pain.