Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the placing of sperm into a woman’s uterus when she is ovulating. The rationale behind intrauterine insemination (IUI) is increasing the density of motile sperms in the vicinity of ova at the site of fertilization.

This procedure is used for couples with unexplained infertility, minimal male factor infertility, and women with anatomical or cervical mucus problems, minimal to mild endometriosis or with vaginismus. Before IUI, the woman should be evaluated completely for any hormonal imbalance, infection, any structural problems and tubal patency (atleast one patent tube)

IUI can be done in natural cycle or in conjunction with ovulation-stimulating drugs. Use of ovulation inducing drugs increases the number of oocytes in that particular cycle and thereby increases the chances of fertilization and implantation. Ovulation is predicted by a urine LH test kit or ultrasound. Insemination is performed at the time of ovulation, usually within 24-36 hours after the LH surge is detected, or after the “trigger” injection of hCG is administered.

IUI can be performed using the husband’s sperm or donor sperm. Sperm washing and separation procedure cleanses the semen of potentially toxic chemicals and selects out motile sperm from the man’s ejaculate and concentrates them into a small volume. If donated or frozen sperms are to be used, it will be removed from frozen storage, thawed and prepared in the same way.This small volume is then injected through a soft catheter that is passed through a speculum directly into the woman’s uterus to deposit the semen at the time of ovulation.

IUI is a relatively quick office procedure and is performed without any anesthesia. The whole process takes a few minutes and is usually painless. Woman can go home twenty to thirty minutes after the procedure. Usually a progesterone suppository is given for fourteen days to support the luteal phase. No dietary or physical activity restriction is needed after the procedure. Pregnancy test is done after 14-15 days of the procedure.