Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that
involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate
fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm
that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the
chance of fertilization.
IUI provides the sperm an advantage by giving it a head start,
but still requires a sperm to reach and fertilize the egg on its
own. It is a less invasive and less expensive option compared
to in vitro fertilization.
Before intrauterine insemination, ovulation stimulating
medications may be used, in which case careful monitoring will
be necessary to determine when the eggs are mature. The IUI
procedure will then be performed around the time of ovulation,
typically about 24-36 hours after the surge in LH hormone that
indicates ovulation will occur soon.
A semen sample will be washed by the lab to separate the
semen from the seminal fluid. A catheter will then be used to
insert the sperm directly into the uterus. This process
maximizes the number of sperm cells that are placed in the
uterus, thus increasing the possibility of conception.
The IUI procedure takes only a few minutes and involves
minimal discomfort. The next step is to watch for signs and
symptoms of pregnancy.