SA's IVF Leader Since 1982
Treatments & Services

IUI - assisted insemination

What is IUI?

IUI (intrauterine insemination) is a procedure in which sperm are placed directly into a woman’s reproductive tract. IUI involves placing prepared semen through the neck of the uterus (cervix) and into the uterine cavity close to the time of ovulation.

IUI treatment can be performed in the following ways:

Natural cycle: this option works with a woman’s natural cycle and involves monitoring the cycle with blood tests and transvaginal ultrasounds (where an ultrasound is inserted internally), but does not involve any medication.

Artificial hormone stimulation (see ovulation induction): this option involves the use of medication to stimulate the ovaries to produce one or two follicles and induce ovulation. The cycle will also be monitored with blood tests and ultrasounds.

During the IUI procedure, the semen sample is analysed and washed to concentrate the moving sperm. The final prepared sample for insemination is then gently inserted into the uterine cavity using a speculum and small catheter.

The procedure itself is much like having cervical screening, and you should be able to continue with your day straight afterwards.

When is IUI recommended?

IUI can be recommended in cases of unexplained infertility, minor sperm abnormalities, or if there are difficulties with intercourse. It can also be an option when frozen semen must be used (e.g. FIFO workers or donor sperm cycles).

There will be individual factors that play a major role in determining the chance of success. Your fertility doctor will discuss these with you to help you decide if this type of treatment is right for you.

Want to find out more?

To find out more about IUI and whether it could help you fall pregnant, you can arrange a fertility chat with our patient care team or book an appointment with one of our fertility doctors.