Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

sperm cells
Sperm cells.
Image by Gilberto Santo Rosa

Donor insemination is a broad term that covers any procedure which improves the chances of becoming pregnant by artificially placing semen within the womb using a syringe. The name of the specific procedure defines where the specialist actually places the sperm.

In Intracervical insemination, ICI, the sperm is injected into the cervix, and in Intrauterine insemination, IUI, the sperm is injected into the uterus.

In short, IUI takes the place of the man ejaculating inside the woman. As such, IUI is typically used to treat male infertility, specifically disorders relating to the testes and sperm production.

Your doctor will decide whether or not to use fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation during IUI. If so, these generally involve injections; eggs are then tracked through vaginal ultrasound scans. When the eggs mature, a hormone is injected to stimulate the ovary to release the egg.

The actual IUI procedure begins about 36 hours later. The man supplies a semen sample, which is ‘washed’ to remove the seminal fluid and keep only the healthiest sperm. Using a speculum, a catheter is inserted into the womb: the prepared sperm are inserted through the catheter.

The entire IUI procedure only takes a few minutes and is largely painless. However, since a speculum is used and since sometimes it can be difficult to get the catheter through the cervix, IUI can prove somewhat uncomfortable. does not make IUI treatment recommendations nor dispense medical advice; only a physician or heath care provider is qualified to determine the proper treatment for any patient. The treatment options are presented for general education purposes only.

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