IUI( Intra Uterine insemination )

What Is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?

IUI, or intrauterine insemination, is a relatively simple fertility treatment. It may be done with or without fertility drugs. The procedure itself involves transferring semen that has been washed and concentrated directly into the uterus via a thin catheter. IUI is done around the time of ovulation or in conjunction with fertility drugs to maximize the likelihood of conception.

How does IUI work?

IUI stands for in intrauterine insemination. It’s also sometimes called donor insemination, alternative insemination, or artificial insemination. IUI works by putting sperm cells directly into your uterus around the time you’re ovulating, helping the sperm get closer to your egg. This cuts down on the time and distance sperm has to travel, making it easier to fertilize your egg.

Before having the insemination procedure, you may take fertility medicines that stimulate ovulation. Semen is collected from your partner or a donor. It goes through a process called “sperm washing” that collects a concentrated amount of healthy sperm from the semen.

Then your doctor puts the sperm right into your uterus. Pregnancy happens if sperm fertilizes your egg, and the fertilized egg implants in the lining of your uterus.

IUI is a simple and low-tech procedure, and it can be less expensive than other types of fertility treatments. It increases your chances of pregnancy, but everyone’s body is different, so there’s no guarantee that IUI will work.

When It's Used

IUI is used to treat many types of infertility and is often done in multiple cycles until pregnancy is achieved—or another treatment is tried. IUI is often the first procedure tried before moving on to more invasive options, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Some insurance companies require a few cycles of IUI before paying for IVF.

Cycles of IUI may be recommended to treat any of the following infertility situations

  • Hostile cervical mucus
  • If a sperm donor is being used
  • If sexual pain makes intercourse not possible
  • If treatment with fertility drugs alone is not successful
  • Male infertility
  • Unexplained infertility