Intrauterine Insemination


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Intrauterine insemination is a form of assisted reproduction technology which aims to help couples who have been unable to conceive for, usually, over 2-3 years, as well as same sex couples and single parents looking to get pregnant and have children.

What is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?

IUI treats infertility by separating good sperm from their poorer colleagues and then using them to fertilise an egg near ovulation, the time of the month when a woman’s eggs are released from her ovaries.

The sperm, either taken straight from the donor or partner, or from a frozen sample stored at a sperm bank, is taken to a lab to be washed and prepared for insemination. The sperm is also tested for transferable diseases.

Intrauterine insemination involves the semen being placed directly into the uterus (also known as the womb), which it gives sperm cells the best chance to reach its target egg cell and fertilise it. The semen used must have been treated to remove unnecessary components to prevent it from being expelled from the body via urine cramping. After the procedure, movement is not recommended for at least 15 minutes.

Success rate of Intrauterine Insemination

The success rate for Intrauterine insemination ranges from between 15% and 20% in each cycle. By the 6th cycle, 60-70% of couples will be expected to have conceived successfully. Intrauterine insemination has a higher success rate than intra-cervical insemination (where sperm are placed further away near the cervix) which has a success rate between 10 and 15%. However, the rate of success will vary greatly depending on the individual situation, factors such as age and sperm count can affect your likelihood of getting pregnant.

Your options with IUI

The specialist treating you will make a decision on how best to proceed with IUI based on tests and investigations into your condition. Where necessary, IUI can be conducted under the effects of fertility drugs which boost egg production, or with donor sperm even if you have a male partner. Where IUI is unsuccessful other methods are available for your consideration with your specialist, including IVF.


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