IUI – Intrauterine Insemination
More commonly known as artificial insemination, intrauterine insemination is a procedure in which sperm is directly transferred into the uterus.
Under many circumstances, the ovaries are hormonally stimulated with oral or injectable medications to improve the chance of success. It is most often recommended for couples with unexplained infertility or male factor infertility — such as a low sperm count or poor sperm motility or for those choosing to use donor sperm.
The washing of sperm is an important step in the IUI process because it gives the healthiest and most mobile sperm the best chance to reach the egg. It also helps separate dead or slow moving sperm and leaves sperm that are more likely to fertilize an egg.
The IUI process has 3 stages.
Ovulation is tracked and a fertile period is identified. (Extra steps are taken if ovulation is not occurring normally.)
Semen is collected and washed.
Sperm is inserted directly into the uterus.
The final step is similar to a pap smear. A speculum is used to expand the vaginal walls and a thin, flexible catheter is inserted through the cervix. The washed sperm is then injected directly into the uterus.
Success rates for IUI procedures depend on many factors, including your age and the duration and cause of infertility.