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What Is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?

Sep 29, 2022

IUI, intrauterine insemination is a simple fertility treatment carried out without fertility drugs involving semen transformation. In this procedure, the semen is washed and directly passed into the woman's uterus using a thin catheter. When this IUI process is carried out during ovulation, the chances of conception are high. 

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When to choose IUI?

IUI is a first procedure treatment for many types of fertility problems that is been processed in multiple cycles until pregnancy is confirmed. 

IUI may be recommended as a treatment for the following infertility problems:

  • No cervical mucus
  • Donor for sperm is required
  • If pain occurs during sexual intercourse
  • If another fertility treatment is not successful
  • Infertility in male
  • Unexplained infertility

Expert says IUI is not recommended for those-

  • Fallopian tubes are blocked
  • History of pelvic infection
  • Endometriosis

Cycles of Treatment

Letrozole with IUI

In this cycle, on the first date of your period, your doctor may advise you to have a blood test and an ultrasound scan to confirm that you are not pregnant and do not have ovarian cysts.

Next, you may start taking the oral fertility drugs as prescribed by your doctor, also you may have to go for more blood tests and ultrasounds as the cycle progresses. Your doctor may schedule the IUI procedure during your ovulation time.

Gonadotropins with IUI

IUI carried out with Gonadotropins are fertility drugs injected with FSH, LH, hMG, and hCG. At the time of your period, you may have transvaginal ultrasounds and blood test monitoring throughout your treatment.

The transvaginal ultrasounds help to monitor developing ovarian follicles and the blood test may help to measure estradiol (E2), LH, and progesterone.

These reports give the report of your hormone levels and the number of follicles in your ovaries and then, the medications may be carried out. After the maturation of one or more follicles, your doctor triggers the ovaries to release the matured egg. After this process, your doctor may schedule the IUI procedure. 

The Procedure of IUI

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Collecting Semen

If you are opting for a sperm donor method, the donor sperm will be defrosted and prepared. Your partner’s semen sample may be collected through masturbation.

Even, you can collect your partner’s sample at home using a sterile home collection kit. The collected sample should be given to the clinic within an hour of the collection and should be kept at body temperature.

In case, if your partner is unable to produce due to any unavoidable reasons, they can collect the sample using a collection kit and the sample is frozen until it is used for the procedure.

Washing Collected Semen

Semen not only contains sperm but it also has impurities. Therefore, the collected semen will be washed through a special washing procedure that removes impurities and improves the chances of fertilization. 

During the IUI procedure

Your doctor may ask you to lie down on the table putting your legs into stirrups. They may insert a speculum into your vagina then a catheter, a small, thin inseminating tube is passed through the speculum to deposit the washed semen in your cervix. This process may cause you a slight cramping pain while the semen is transferring, then, they may remove the catheter from your vagina.

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After the process 

After the IUI procedure, you may keep lying for some time. Then, you can go for your routine activities. In some cases, you may have light spotting for one or two days after this IUI procedure. 

You can test for the results using a home pregnancy test kit after two weeks of time. If you tested too early, the result may be-

False-negative: Unable to measure your pregnancy hormone level. Therefore, you may get a negative result, even if you are pregnant.

False-positive: If you're taking ovulation-inducing medication such as HCG previously, the medication and its effect may still be present in your body indicating that you are pregnant, even if you have not got pregnant.

In case, if you don't become pregnant in the first IUI procedure, you may try IUI again for three to six months before recommending other fertility treatments to maximize the possibility of getting pregnant.


Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a simple and safe fertility treatment that has low complications and risks. Some of these risks include-


Some slight infections may develop during this procedure.


While placing the catheter in the uterus through the cervix, this process may cause light spotting through your vagina. However, this risk does not impact your pregnancy.

Multiple pregnancy

The risk of multiple pregnancies like twins, triplets, or more may increase when IUI is carried out coordinating with ovulation-inducing medications. During pregnancy, multiple babies have more risks than a single baby such as early labor and low birth weight.


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