IUI – intra-uterine insemination
Intra-uterine insemination - also known as artificial insemination is a relatively straightforward technique involving the insemination of a prepared sperm sample directly into the uterus at the time of ovulation.
The insemination procedure involves depositing sperm directly into the uterus using a fine catheter which is inserted through the cervix via the vagina. As the timing of the insemination is crucial, the woman's cycle is monitored using urine tests and ultrasound scans to assess the development of the follicles (the sacs in which the eggs grow). The sperm is inseminated when these tests indicate that ovulation is imminent.
When Is IUI Treatment Used?
IUI may be used in some cases of male factor infertility, like low sperm counts or if a sperm donor is being used. IUI may also be used if the woman's cervical mucus is less than ideal. Also, in cases of unexplained infertility.
How Does IUI Treatment Work?
As mentioned above, IUI is pretty simple. While fertility drugs are not always used during IUI, most doctors choose to use an ovulation drug to increase the chances of success.
Assuming you're not using a sperm donor, your partner will be given instructions for sperm collection (sometimes it's done in the center; sometimes it can be done at home.) The doctor will then "wash" the collected sperm, and then, using a thin tube, the doctor will place the sperm directly into your uterus via the cervix.