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IUI Treatment

What is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is a procedure that our clinicians may recommend for couples who are experiencing fertility issues. In order for fertilization to occur, a male's sperm must meet a female's egg in the fallopian tubes soon after ovulation. The sperm must travel through the cervix, into the uterus and through the fallopian tubes in order to reach the egg. IUI is performed to make the sperm's journey much shorter by placing it into the female's uterus. This is done because the cervix limits the number of sperm that enter the uterus. The sperm can then travel to the fallopian tubes and hopefully meet the egg, improving the chances for conception.

Who Should Consider IUI?

  • IUI is most commonly used when the male partner has a low sperm count or if the movement of the sperm (motility) is less than ideal.
  • Women who do not release an egg regularly (ovulate) may take medications to help them ovulate regularly. These women may need IUI to time insemination at about the same time as ovulation.
  • IUI is also helpful when a woman’s cervix has scarring that prevents the sperm from entering the uterus from the vagina. This may be seen in women who have had surgery on their cervix (cryosurgery, cone biopsy, LEEP, etc.).
  • Couples participating in fertility preservation.

What Is the Process?

Once a semen sample is collected from the male, it is "washed" in order to concentrate the sperm and remove the seminal fluid. When it is determined that the female is ovulating, she will be taken to an examination room where she will lie on an examination table. The clinician will insert a speculum into the vagina to reveal the cervix. The clinician will then insert a catheter through the cervix and into the uterus. The semen sample is slowly injected, and the procedure is complete. It usually only takes a few minutes, and it is relatively painless.

Success Rate and Risks

There are a number of factors that will affect the success rate of IUI. They include

  • The cause of infertility
  • Age of patient
  • Health of patient
  • Fertility medications uses

Success rates can be as high as 20% per cycle.

In general, IUI is incredibly safe with little risk of infection or other averse affect. For females taking fertility medications, the chance of getting pregnant with twins, triplets or more increases when you undergo an IUI procedure.

For more information about IUI and other fertility treatments, please call us at 866-IVF-CHGO (866-483-2446).