Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

What and who is it for?

IUI is the process of placing prepared sperm directly into the female uterus at the correct time of the menstrual cycle to try to achieve a pregnancy. It is important to note that the fallopian tubes must be open for the treatment to work, however, IUI can be successful if no other fertility issues have been identified.

This treatment may be favourable for some patients who have been trying to conceive for some time but do not want to have IVF, or those who have difficulties with sexual intercourse. It might also be beneficial where there is a mild male factor sperm issue, as the sperm preparation steps help to isolate the healthiest sperm for insemination, and for women with ovulation issues.

IUI treatment with donor sperm can be offered to various patient groups. It may be required by couples for whom the male partner is azoospermic (has no sperm present in ejaculate) or who carries a genetic or other condition that may be transmissible. It may also be required by single women or those in female same sex relationships.

How does it work?

The patient receiving treatment will be scanned at scheduled points in the menstrual cycle to determine the optimal time to perform the IUI. This may involve taking medication and/or an injection, or the IUI may be done in a natural cycle using no medication, depending on the patient.

On the day of insemination, the patient's partner will produce a sperm sample which is then observed under the microscope and prepared for treatment. If the sample has been previously frozen, such as when using donor sperm, this will be thawed and prepared in a similar way.

At the time of insemination, the patient will have a speculum inserted into the vagina to clearly visualise the cervix. A fine catheter will then be passed through the cervix, and the prepared sperm will be pushed through the catheter into the womb.

After procedure, the patient will take some medication to help support the lining of the womb. A pregnancy test is taken two weeks after the procedure. If the test is positive, a scan will be arranged to determine the viability of the pregnancy. If it is negative, the patient will be advised to stop the medication and a period will occur.

What are the features and benefits?

IUI is a low risk and minimally invasive technique which is also less expensive than IVF treatment.

Further information

If you would like to know more information about IUI or wish to book a consultation, please contact the clinic.