Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
With intrauterine insemination (IUI), also referred to as artificial insemination, millions of sperm are placed directly into the uterus when the woman is most fertile, immediately prior to and during ovulation.
The sperm cells are first "washed" with special solutions, then concentrated to increase the number of sperm that make it to the fallopian tube where fertilization takes place.
IUI may be performed with or without the use of fertility drugs by the patient. When such drugs are used, the therapy is referred to as controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH), ovulation induction (OI), or superovulation. IUI with COH generally results in higher pregnancy chances.
- Fertility drugs may or may not be used to stimulate the ovulation of more than one oocyte
- Ovulation is monitored with a combination of at-home (home ovulation predictor kits, basal body temperature) and clinic (ultrasound, blood tests) techniques
- A hormone injection (human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG) is used to prompt timed ovulation
The man's role in the IUI process is to provide a semen sample on the morning of insemination. The semen sample is prepared and then inserted through the cervix and into the uterus by way of a fine catheter. The procedure takes place in the clinic and is relatively painless.