Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) at the Center for Reproductive Medicine

One of the most time-tested forms of fertility treatment, artificial insemination involves the introduction of sperm into the female reproductive system through means other than intercourse.

Today, the most common form of artificial insemination is intrauterine insemination (IUI), which involves placing the sperm directly into the uterine cavity. This is often done with the male partner's sperm to overcome problems like mild to moderate male factor infertility, hostile cervical mucus or unexplained infertility. In cases where the male partner cannot produce viable sperm or carries a potentially serious genetic condition, donor sperm may be used instead.

The IUI process comprises two steps:

  1. First, the sperm is collected and prepared. Fresh sperm is washed and sorted in our on-site laboratory; during this process, any abnormal sperm or other debris is removed, resulting in a concentrated sample of healthy, motile sperm. Because donor sperm is already processed before it is frozen, it only needs to be thawed in preparation for IUI.
  2. Once the sperm sample is ready, a thin, soft catheter is threaded through the cervix and into the female patient’s uterine cavity. The sperm is then placed into the uterus and the catheter is withdrawn. This procedure does not require anesthesia and is usually no more uncomfortable than a standard Pap smear.

Frequently asked questions

IUI is short for intrauterine insemination, one of the most well-established forms of fertility treatment. With IUI, fresh sperm is washed and sorted to remove any abnormal sperm. (Donor sperm is pre-processed, so it only needs thawing out before the IUI procedure.) This healthy sperm is then introduced directly into the uterus via a thin catheter, bypassing the cervix entirely.

To find out more about IUI and see whether you and your partner are suitable candidates, contact the Center for Reproductive Medicine today.
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Two steps to intrauterine insemination

  • After it is collected, sperm is washed and sorted to weed out any abnormal sperm or debris

  • Using a catheter, the clean sperm is inserted into the uterus