Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
Intrauterine insemination is a basic procedure we use in infertility care.
During IUI one of our trained registered nurses or practitioners places laboratory prepared, washed sperm in the upper uterus. The procedure starts as a speculum exam, like a PAP smear exam. We then pass a thin catheter through the opening of the cervix, through the cervical canal and into the uterus, where sperm are deposited. Some patients complain of mild menstrual-type cramping during or after IUI.
- When you are having an IUI procedure, come to our office with a moderately full bladder; do not empty your bladder before the procedure. This helps straighten your cervical-uterine canal and makes insemination easier in most cases.
- Usually the IUI takes about five minutes and you may resume normal activity right after. Sometimes the procedure is more difficult depending on the anatomy of the cervix and may take longer to perform causing increased cramping. You may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) before the procedure, but not ibuprofen. You should have intercourse the evening of the IUI.
- IUI is especially effective if your fertility problems are due to a cervical factor, but is also recommended in many other cases. Studies show IUI improves monthly success rates compared with intercourse.
- IUI is most effective when your partner’s sperm is normal. IUI success decreases as sperm quality decreases, and is generally not effective for more severe degrees of male factor fertility problems.
- It is best for most men to abstain from ejaculation for at least 24 hours prior to providing the IUI specimen but this varies in individuals. If you have questions, please ask the clinical or laboratory staff.