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.
IUI, or intrauterine insemination, is a relatively simple fertility treatment. It may be done with or without fertility drugs. The procedure itself involves transferring specially washed semen directly into the uterus via a thin catheter.
You may know of IUI by the more commonly used term artificial insemination (AI). IUI and AI are one and the same.
IUI treatment may be recommended for any of the following situations:
- Male infertility
- Hostile cervical mucus
- Unexplained infertility
- If treatment with fertility drugs alone is not successful
- If a sperm donor is being used
- If sexual pain makes intercourse not possible
Some insurance companies require a few cycles of IUI before paying for IVF treatment.
IUI is not recommended for those with:
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- Severe endometriosis
- Previous pelvic infection