All Medical Procedures

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) — a type of artificial insemination — is a procedure for treating infertility. Sperm that have been washed and concentrated are placed directly in your uterus around the time your ovary releases one or more eggs to be fertilized. Older types of artificial insemination placed the sperm in the vagina. While this was easier, it was not as successful as the current procedure.

The hoped-for outcome of intrauterine insemination is for the sperm to swim into the fallopian tube and fertilize a waiting egg, resulting in a normal pregnancy. Depending on the reasons for infertility, IUI can be coordinated with your normal cycle or with fertility medications.

Labor induction — also known as inducing labor — is a procedure used to stimulate uterine contractions during pregnancy before labor begins on its own. Successful labor induction leads to a vaginal birth. A health care provider might recommend labor induction for various reasons, primarily when there's concern for a mother's health or a baby's health.

Labor induction carries various risks, including infection and the need for a C-section. Sometimes the benefits of labor induction outweigh the risks, however. If you're pregnant, understanding why and how labor induction is done can help you prepare.

Medical abortion is a procedure that uses various medications to end a pregnancy. A medical abortion is started either in a doctor's office or at home with visits to your health care provider. Medical abortion doesn't require anesthesia or surgery, but it can only be done early in pregnancy.

Pursuing a medical abortion is a major decision with emotional and psychological consequences. If you're considering medical abortion, make sure you understand what the procedure entails, the side effects, and possible risks and complications.

The minipill, also known as the progestin-only birth control pill, is an oral contraceptive that contains the hormone progestin. Unlike combination birth control pills, the minipill doesn't contain estrogen. The progestin dose in a minipill is lower than the progestin dose in a combination oral contraceptive pill.

The minipill thickens cervical mucus and thins the lining of the uterus (endometrium) — preventing sperm from reaching the egg. The minipill also sometimes suppresses ovulation. For maximum effectiveness, you must take the minipill at the same time every day.

Mirena is a hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) that's inserted into the uterus for long-term birth control (contraception). A T-shaped plastic frame that releases a type of progestin, Mirena thickens the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching or fertilizing an egg. Mirena also thins the lining of the uterus and partially suppresses ovulation.

Mirena is one of two hormonal IUDs with Food and Drug Administration approval. The other is Skyla, which prevents pregnancy for up to three years. Mirena prevents pregnancy for up to five years after insertion.

The morning-after pill is a type of emergency birth control (contraception). The purpose of emergency contraception is to prevent pregnancy after a woman has had unprotected sex. Morning-after pills contain either levonorgestrel (Plan B One-Step, Next Choice) or ulipristal (Ella).

Plan B One-Step, Next Choice and Ella are the only morning-after pills that have Food and Drug Administration approval in the U.S. However, other brands of morning-after pills are available around the world.

Plan B One-Step is available over-the-counter without prescription. Next Choice is available over-the-counter for women age 17 and older. Ella is available only with a prescription from your doctor or health care provider.

Myomectomy (my-o-MEK-tuh-mee) is a surgical procedure to remove uterine fibroids — also called leiomyomas (lie-o-my-O-muhs). These are common noncancerous growths that appear in the uterus, usually during childbearing years, but they can occur at any age.

The surgeon's goal during myomectomy is to take out symptom-causing fibroids and reconstruct the uterus. Unlike hysterectomy, which removes your entire uterus, myomectomy removes only the fibroids and leaves your uterus intact.

Women who undergo myomectomy report improvement in fibroid symptoms, including heavy menstrual bleeding and pelvic pressure.

Noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT), also known as noninvasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD), is a screening method for detecting certain specific chromosomal abnormalities in a developing baby.

Noninvasive prenatal testing is a sophisticated blood test that examines fetal DNA in the maternal bloodstream to determine whether your baby is at risk of Down syndrome, extra sequences of chromosome 13 (trisomy 13), extra sequences of chromosome 18 (trisomy 18) or a sex chromosome abnormality, such as Turner syndrome. The testing can also be used to determine a rhesus (Rh) blood type.

Currently, noninvasive prenatal testing is only available for women who have certain risk factors.

Noninvasive prenatal testing might help you avoid other tests that might put your pregnancy at risk. Your health care provider or a genetic counselor will discuss whether noninvasive prenatal testing might benefit you.

A nonstress test is a common prenatal test used to check on a baby's health. During a nonstress test, also known as fetal heart rate monitoring, a baby's heart rate is monitored to see how it responds to the baby's movements.

Typically, a nonstress test is recommended for women at increased risk of fetal death. A nonstress test is usually done after week 26 of pregnancy. Certain nonstress test results might indicate that you and your baby need further monitoring, testing or special care.

A nonstress test is a noninvasive test that doesn't pose any physical risks to you or your baby. Find out what a nonstress test involves and whether this prenatal test might benefit you or your baby.

NuvaRing is a hormonal birth control (contraceptive) device for women. It's a flexible, transparent plastic ring that's inserted into the vagina. You wear NuvaRing for three weeks, and then remove it — allowing menstruation to occur — and then insert a new ring after a week.



Similar to combination birth control pills, NuvaRing prevents pregnancy by releasing hormones into your body. NuvaRing suppresses ovulation — keeping your ovaries from releasing an egg. NuvaRing also thickens cervical mucus to keep sperm from reaching the egg.



NuvaRing is the only vaginal hormonal contraceptive that's approved by the Food and Drug Administration and available in the U.S. To use NuvaRing, you'll need a prescription from your health care provider.