This is the first step in assisted reproduction, which involves collecting your partner's semen around the time of your ovulation, specially treating it to collect high quality sperm, and injecting it directly into your uterus through a thin tube to allow natural fertilization to occur.

Artificial insemination can be performed in the doctor's office, is simple and less expensive than IVF.

However, as fertilization takes place in the same tubes as in a natural pregnancy, at least one fallopian tube must be in good condition, and IUI may be considered in the following cases

  • Unexplained infertility
  • Mild male factor infertility
  • Minor cases of endometriosis
  • Sexual dysfunction (difficult or impossible to engage in normal sexual intercourse)
Process of IUI
  • Method of IUI

    There are two main ways to do IUI: through a natural cycle and through ovulation induction.

    The natural cycle is conducted when the woman has regular menstrual cycles and if the patient does not want multiple pregnancies by matching the woman's ovulation cycle.

    Ovulation induction can be achieved by taking ovulation inducing medication from the third day of your period onwards, or by having an ovulation induction injection to release multiple eggs. Multiple ovulation can increase your pregnancy rate, but it can also increase the chance of multiple pregnancies.

    Both methods usually involve multiple ultrasounds to predict ovulation by watching the follicles in your ovaries grow (the number and size of follicles), and you may receive ovulation induction injections if needed.

  • Procedure

    Once the date of ovulation has been determined by ultrasound, semen is collected (masturbated) on the day of ovulation and then specially processed to concentrate only a small amount of healthy, motile sperm, which is then injected directly into the uterus through the woman's vagina via a thin tube. The process is usually painless and straightforward, and you'll be asked to lie down and rest for 10-15 minutes afterwards before going home. If artificial insemination was performed using ovulation induction, you may be given a luteinising hormone or hCG injection after the procedure to help you conceive, depending on your condition.

  • Precautions pre/post IUI procedure

    Men are advised to avoid heavy alcohol consumption and hot saunas before the procedure. Women should avoid strenuous exercise or heavy work on the day of the procedure, but can resume their normal routine immediately. There is no need to limit bathing or conjugal relations after the procedure.

  • Pregnancy rates with IUI

    Although it can vary depending on the woman's age, cause of infertility, and duration of infertility, pregnancy rates per procedure are reported to be 10-15%, with cumulative pregnancy rates increasing with repeat procedures. In the case of hyperovulation induced IVF, the success rate can be as high as 20%.

  • Considerations related to IUI

    Compared to natural pregnancy, there is no increased incidence of miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or malformed babies. However, there may be an increased incidence of multiple pregnancies if ovulation induction is performed (especially if ovulation induction injections are used) and an increased risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.