Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine insemination (IUI) or artificial insemination refers to the process of inserting a dense sample of high-quality, fast-moving sperm directly into the uterus at the height of ovulation.
Intrauterine insemination is useful for couples with:
- Male infertility
- When male erection or ejaculation are problematic (sexual dysfunction)
- In women with abnormal cervical mucous.
- Unexplained infertility in combination with fertility drugs.
Intrauterine insemination is also an excellent method for achieving pregnancy for non-partnered women opting for donor insemination.
IUI is a simple procedure that is done quickly and without the need for sedation. It essentially works by facilitating sperm in reaching the reproductive tract at the most advantageous time. The sperm used in insemination has to be prepared or “washed” through a procedure that extracts the sperm from the seminal fluid or semen and the procedure of IUI should be timed to coincide with the time of the female partner’s ovulation.
The likelihood of success with IUI is dependent on the quality of the sperm used for insemination, with better results achieved in men with higher sperm count, higher motility and a higher percentage of normal sperm. Success with IUI is also affected by other coexisting infertility factors such as the age of the female partner, presence of any ovulation problems, the condition of the partner’s reproductive tract and whether or not fertility medications are used in the female partner.