Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

IUI is the simplest form of assisted conception; it involves injecting specially prepared sperm into the womb.

Before we can recommend this treatment, we need to know whether the fallopian tubes are open (patent) and healthy. We usually advise that you have a urine test to check for chlamydia. If this is positive, you’ll be offered a tubal patency test such as a HyCoSy.

What does IUI treatment involve?

IUI treatment is similar to having a cervical screening test. During a speculum examination a fine catheter is passed through your cervix to allow the sperm to pass directly into the womb.

An IUI treatment cycle can be natural (without medication) or medicated using injections that boost egg production. The insemination itself is timed to correspond with ovulation so that you have the best chance possible of becoming pregnant.

If you are using your partner’s sperm, this is referred to as AIH (artificial insemination by ‘husband’) and if donor sperm is used it is referred to as DI (donor insemination).

Who might need IUI?

We may recommend IUI if:

  • You have unexplained infertility
  • There are problems with ovulation
  • Your partner has erectile dysfunction (ED) or impotence
  • The sperm are mildly abnormal
  • There are antisperm antibodies
  • You do not have a male partner but are using donated sperm