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Your Fertility Journey – IUI

31st October 2022

Your Fertility Journey – IUI

What is IUI?

IUI is an acronym for Intrauterine Insemination which literally means inserting sperm into the uterus. The rationale is to enable the presence of sperm in the close vicinity of a freshly released egg/s so that an embryo can form from the interaction of the two and facilitate a pregnancy. It is often used as an initial management strategy while a person or couple is trying to come to terms with the possibility of having IVF. In this article Dr. Abha Bhat, Consultant Gynaecologist explains in why, when and under which circumstances IUI might be the best option for consideration.

Is IUI right for me?

For IUI to work, two prerequisites are important. Firstly, the semen parameters must be normal or nearly normal so that an adequate number of sperm are present in the fallopian tubes at the time of ovulation. It is incorrect to think that one or few sperm are enough to cause a pregnancy. Secondly, the tubes must be healthy and patent.

Only if these conditions are met, can IUI give reasonable chances of success. To improve the success, often ovulation induction treatment is done simultaneously. As a result, multiple eggs are released thereby improving the chances of success. This could however also lead to multiple pregnancy. IUI works best for people or couples who are unable to have intercourse or those requiring donor sperm.

How long does it take to do IUI?

Your initial consultation will determine if you are a suitable candidate for IUI. We will arrange an appointment to check your fallopian tubes with ultrasound. In case you have had a test for tubes, your doctor will review the test results and if you are eligible for IUI, you can start the process from the next period.  If you are using your partner’s sperm he will need to have a semen analysis. In case donor sperm is being used, you will need to purchase donor sperm from our inhouse sperm bank or from one of our approved sperm banks and the quarantined frozen sperm should have been received by us prior to treatment. You will have an online appointment to complete the relevant consent forms for the procedure before starting the process.

The IUI programme is monitored using ultrasound scans and/or ovulation kits so that ovulation can be timed more accurately. The insemination procedure is usually simple and similar to a cervical smear test. It only takes a few minutes; using a very fine catheter, the prepared sperm is deposited inside the uterus via the cervix.

What are the chances of success with IUI?

The success of this treatment depends on:

  • the cause of infertility
  • the person or woman’s age
  • the partner or donor’s sperm count and sperm quality (fresh sperm leads to higher conception rates than frozen sperm)
  • whether or not fertility medicines are used to stimulate ovulation (this can increase your chances of success)

As there are many different factors involved, it is advised to consult our fertility experts about your individual chances of success.


Your Fertility Journey – IVF «
Your Fertility Journey – IUI, IVF, ICSI or PICSI? »

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