IUI

Intrauterine Insemination

The most affordable assisted reproduction treatment available

IUI or Intrauterine Insemination works by putting sperm directly into your uterus around the time you’re ovulating, helping the sperm get closer to your egg.

The main difference between IUI and IVF is that with IUI, the fertilization of the egg takes place internally and not in a fertility laboratory. It is minimally invasive and the most affordable form of assisted reproduction available.

Who is IUI suitable for?

IUI can be used for those with functioning fallopian tubes but who have had difficulty falling pregnant naturally. This means having unprotected sex for a period of 12 months, or in some cases for 6 months. IUI is also often used in cases where donor sperm is needed for either an individual or couple wishing to become pregnant.

IUI involves three stages

Egg Stimulation & Monitoring

Ovulation

Insemination

Step 1

Egg Stimulation & Monitoring

Under the care of our fertility team, the woman is given oral and injectable fertility medications to stimulate her ovaries to produce one to two egg containing follicles. Medication is taken for approximately 12 days depending on your protocol and how your body responds to treatment.

The number and size of the developing follicles is measured by trans-vaginal ultrasound scans. The more eggs you release, the higher the chance of a multiple pregnancy- this is why your fertility doctor will aim for just one or two mature eggs through your treatment.

The final preparation for ovulation involves a hormone injection which mimics the natural trigger for ovulation. Insemination will take place the day after this injection.

In a normal menstrual cycle, only one egg is released. In an IUI cycle you are helping the follicles to produce healthy and mature eggs with the assistance of medication.

Step 2

Ovulation

Once it is confirmed that a ripe egg is present you will take a ‘trigger injection’ which is a hormone that causes you to ovulate. This injection will help your body to release the mature egg from the follicle, ready for fertilisation.

At this point if you are doing IUI with a male partner, he will provide a sperm sample which is then processed, cleaned and prepared by our laboratory. This ensures that only the healthiest sperm cells are ready for the insemination and that they are concentrated into a small volume.

If you are using donor sperm, the same procedure will be used but from a frozen sperm sample which will be thawed before use.

Step 3

Insemination

The insemination itself is very simple. It is not unlike having a smear test and for most people it is only mildly uncomfortable. You do not need to be under any sedation and it will only take 10 minutes or less.

A catheter is inserted directly through the cervix and millions of motile sperm are pushed through directly into the uterus. The catheter is then removed and you can go about your day as normal.

All inclusive Fertility Treatments for one price

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IUI FAQs

When is IUI not recommended?

IUI is not recommended for those who have severe disease of the fallopian tubes, tubal disease, a history of pelvic infections, a low ovarian reserve, or moderate to severe endometriosis. While severe male factor infertility does not necessarily rule out couples from undergoing IUI, it does significantly lower their chances of success, making IVF the preferable option.

How many IUIs should I try before moving on to IVF?

If an IUI does not result in a successful pregnancy after 3 attempts, our doctor will usually suggest moving to an IVF cycle. In certain cases, this may be sooner.

Can IUI help me fall pregnant?

Yes, for many patients IUI can help them to become pregnant. It does however have lower rates of success than IVF/ICSI and so many choose to go directly to IVF. For those wishing to undergo a less invasive treatment, IUI is often a good starting point.