This method of fertility treatment involves placing washed sperm within the uterine cavity and close to the site of fertilisation. It is timed to occur close to ovulation. This technique may be used in circumstances such as male infertility, situations where there is a physical problem with sexual intercourse. This technique may be used in situations where there are ethical issues with IVF or couples wish to try alternatives to IVF. The patency of the Fallopian tubes needs to be assessed prior to proceeding with IUI.
Intrauterine insemination may be used with a natural cycle or with the ovulation induction techniques discussed above. In each situation the woman’s cycle will need to be monitored with blood tests and ultrasound. Based upon the results, IUI is timed to occur close to the time of ovulation.
It is generally preferred that fresh semen is used and the male partner will need to be available to produce a semen sample on the day of IUI. This sperm is then washed and concentrated in the laboratory.
The procedure of IUI takes only a few minutes. A speculum is placed in the vagina to view the cervix. A small catheter is then passed through the cervix into the uterine cavity and the semen deposited.
A pregnancy test will be performed approximately 16 days following the procedure.
The success rates of IUI vary according to the indication for treatment and will be discussed with your doctor.