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Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI)

Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) or Assisted Insemination is a procedure where a woman’s partner’s sperm is placed in her uterus at the time of ovulation. Drug stimulation is not used unless the woman does not have regular menstrual cycles. IUI treatment requires blood tests and scans to predict ovulation and timing of insemination.


An IUI is performed by threading a very thin flexible catheter through the cervix and injecting washed sperm directly into the uterus. The whole process doesn’t take very long – it usually only requires the insertion of a speculum and then the catheter, a process that may take a couple of minutes.


Ultrasound examination of the ovaries will reveal when ovulation is likely to occur. This is followed by an injection to bring on ovulation, or with urine testing of LH hormone levels to detect the natural surge of this hormone that accompanies ovulation.


You should abstain from intercourse for 2 – 3 days (a maximum of five days) prior to expected ovulation. This date (or day of your cycle) will be estimated when we see you to plan your treatment.


Prior to this treatment cycle, tests may have been performed to rule out abnormalities of the female reproductive system, such as tubal blockage.


The male partner will also have had his semen analysed to ensure the correct parameters are present allowing conception using IUI methods. Low sperm counts normally contraindicate IUI.


A serum progesterone may be carried out one week after ovulation, to confirm that an egg was released.


If you do not achieve a pregnancy from an IUI cycle of treatment, you can expect a period within 14 days of treatment.


The success rate for IUI is dependant on the cause of infertility and the female’s age.