Intra-uterine insemination involves collecting and processing semen and placing it directly into the woman’s vagina, cervical canal, or uterine cavity. The sperm may be from the husband or male partner (AIH) or from a donor (AID). The reasons for using artificial insemination or IUI include both male and female factors.

Intrauterine insemination may also be recommended for any of the following conditions:

  • A low sperm count (but no less then 10 million/ml)
  • While going through a Clomid cycle (Clomid/IUI)
  • When being treated with injectable fertility drugs (hMG or FSH/IUI)
  • Bad sperm motility
  • A sperm morphology >/=8%
  • Donor sperm is required
  • A hostile cervix condition, such as cervical mucus that is too thick
  • The couple has been diagnosed with a sexual dysfunction

The IUI process

The IUI process is when a very thin flexible catheter is inserted through the cervix and washed sperm is injected into the uterus.

Most women consider IUI to be fairly painless, along the same lines as having a pap smear. There can be some cramping afterward, but often what is felt is ovulation-related rather than from the IUI. The catheter often isn’t felt because the cervix is already slightly open for ovulation

You will be given instructions on how long beforehand and afterwards to abstain from intercourse, and any resting periods after the IUI.

When Should it be Done?

Ideally an IUI should be performed within 6 hours either side of ovulation (for male factor infertility, some doctors believe after ovulation is better) with the sperm waiting for the egg. When timing is based on an hCG injection, the IUIs are usually done between 24 and 48 hours later. Typical timing would be to have a single IUI at about 36 hours post-hCG.

Who is Suited to IUI?

IUI can help on Clomid cycles where cervical mucus is a problem, and IUI increases the chance of success on injectible cycles no matter what the sperm count. It does make sense to try IUI if you can and haven’t had success with intercourse

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is often the first type of fertility treatment attempted by couples. In order to get sperm ready for the IUI procedure, it must first be washed. Sperm washing may sound strange, but it actually works to ensure that only the healthiest sperm are used during the procedure. Sperm washing can increase your chances of conception and may help you to welcome a new addition to your family.