IUI (Intrauterine Insemination)

Intrauterine insemination involves preparing semen in the embryology laboratory to select the best quality sperm for insemination. The treated semen is then introduced into the womb around the time of ovulation.

IUI has been used for treatment of couples who have unexplained infertility, endometriosis and low sperm quality. However, IUI has a limited chance of success when used to treat these conditions. Therefore, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has advised that it should not routinely be offered in these situations.

Indications for IUI:

  • Single women
  • Lesbian couples
  • Heterosexual couples who cannot have intercourse

IUI can be done during a natural menstrual cycle or in conjunction with clomid or injectables such as FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) to induce ovulation.

Ovulation has to be monitored using a transvaginal ultrasound scan for follicular tracking. When the leading follicle on the ovary is large enough, you will be given injection to trigger ovulation and insemination is done 34-40 hours later.

You will have speculum examination similar to smear test to visualise the neck of the womb. A small catheter (a soft, flexible tube) will then be threaded into your womb via your cervix. The best-quality sperm will be selected and inserted through the catheter.