Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), also known as artificial insemination, is a fertility-related procedure performed either to help infertile couples to conceive, or allow single or lesbian women to have children. Because it’s less invasive than some other fertility treatments, IUI is often one of the first options physicians recommend trying to couples who are struggling to conceive.
Watch as Dr. Griffin Describes IUI
About Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
IUI is a relatively simple process. First, a woman's cycle is monitored to track her ovulation. She may be given medications to stimulate egg maturation to increase the likelihood of pregnancy. Once ovulation is confirmed, she will schedule an appointment at the physician's office for an insemination. During this procedure, she will recline and a catheter will be placed into her uterus directly, through the vagina and cervix. Sperm that has been washed and evaluated, provided by either the woman's partner or a donor, is then deposited into the uterus through the catheter. After a short wait, the woman can resume normal activities. The insemination process usually takes only 30 minutes. A pregnancy test is taken two weeks later, or whenever her period is expected.
IUI Treatments for Infertility
With IUI, sperm is deposited directly into the uterus, rather than in the vaginal canal, as is done during natural intercourse. This can increase the odds of conception by giving sperm a "head start" in reaching the fertile egg, as the distance they travel is shortened. This allows sperm to bypass the potentially inhospitable vaginal canal and cervix. Additionally, the sperm are washed and examined so that only the healthiest are selected, which can increase the chances of success in fertilizing the egg.
IUI to Treat Single & Lesbian Women
With IUI, donor sperm can be used, making this the ideal way for women without a male partner or who have a female partner to become pregnant.
The same process is followed whether regardless of lifestyle, and success rates are virtually the same whether donor sperm or non-previously frozen sperm (male partner) are used.