IUI - Assisted Insemination

IUI is a simpler and less-invasive treatment option, where we help a sample of carefully selected sperm to reach the uterus. IUI is often a first step in your assisted conception journey.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) - sometimes referred to as Artificial Insemination (AI) - is a simple procedure aimed to help the sperm inseminate the uterus. It’s one of the simpler and less invasive treatment options available to help you have a baby. As a result, IUI is often the starting point for people who are experiencing difficulties getting pregnant.

Is IUI right for me?

IUI might be the first step in your fertility treatment journey if you:

  • have been diagnosed with unexplained infertility
  • have been diagnosed with mild male factor infertility
  • have scarring of the cervix or other concerns that may reduce sperm penetration into the uterine cavity
  • have irregular or absent ovulation and have not fallen pregnant with ovulation induction alone
  • cannot have regular or penetrative sex
  • need to use your partner's frozen sperm
  • need to use donor sperm

Generally, IUI treatment isn’t recommended for patients who have severe male factor infertility, blocked fallopian tubes or severe endometriosis.

How does IUI work?

The aim of IUI treatment is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes. The more sperm that reach the tubes - the greater the chance of fertilisation. Essentially, the technique provides sperm with a head start by placing it nearer the egg. However, the sperm still needs to reach and fertilise the egg on its own.

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The IUI treatment procedure

Introduction

The IUI procedure can occur using a woman’s natural cycle or after administration of medication to induce ovulation. The cycle is tracked with ultrasound and blood test and a trigger injection is used to time ovulation exactly. The IUI procedure occurs on the day of ovulation and is described below.

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The IUI treatment procedure

Step 1:

To begin the procedure, your fertility specialist will insert a speculum into your vagina. This allows them to visualise your cervix.

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The IUI treatment procedure

Step 2:

Your specialist will then pass a soft, thin catheter through the opening of your cervix and into the uterus.

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The IUI treatment procedure

Step 3:

Using the catheter, your specialist will introduce the pre-prepared sperm into your uterus.

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The IUI treatment procedure

Step 4:

All done!

The procedure only takes a few minutes - and can be likened to a pap smear. You can return to your daily activities as soon as it’s over.

You won’t require anaesthesia unless you don’t tolerate speculum examinations. In this case, there’s an option to complete the procedure under light sedation. Talk through this option with your fertility specialist if it’s something you would like to consider.

Different IUI treatment types

Important components of IUI treatment

Wondering whether or not IUI is right for you?

It’s best to consult with a fertility specialist. They’ll complete some preliminary fertility testing, which will determine if IUI is a suitable treatment option for your unique circumstances.

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