Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI)

Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is often the first treatment offered to couples facing difficulty in conception. It is a simple procedure wherein good quality prepared sperms are placed in the uterus around the time of ovulation, which is the time when the woman is most fertile. IUI is performed by inserting a very thin flexible catheter through the cervix and washed sperms are directly injected into the uterus. It is a short procedure done in OPD setting without need for any anaesthesia and takes only couple of minutes to perform.

Infertile couples can be advised IUI in following situations.

  • Unexplained Infertility
  • Anovulatory infertility- The eggs in the female partner do not mature in time. In these cases, the growth of eggs is induced with the help of medicines/injections.
  • Mild male factor infertility- Reduced sperm counts in the male partner.
  • Sexual dysfunction in either partner- The couple are unable to have intercourse for a variety of reasons e.g. vaginismus (painful intercourse), ejaculatory dysfunction (absence of ejaculation in male partner).
  • Azoospermia (absence of sperms in semen)- IUI is done with donor sperm. The donor sperms are obtained from a licenses sperm bank, which follows the medical and regulatory requirements for donor screening in order to eliminate the risk of transmission of infectious diseases. Spermsobtained from a screened donor are frozen and quarantined for six months. The donor is retested for presence of infections before the frozen sperms are released from the sperm bank.
  • Cryopreserved sperms- Done when the male partner is not available at the time of ovulation or if the sperms have been preserved prophylactically before some treatment that has negatively affected the sperm formation/ count in the male partner.
Prerequisites for IUI
Protocols for IUI
Procedure of IUI

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) is practically a very simple and safe procedure. Use of medications in stimulated cycle IUI carries minor risks of ovarian hyper stimulation and multiple pregnancies. But in experienced hands and with appropriate use of medications, these risks are well within manageable range.

The maximum pregnancy rate with IUI is reported to be in range of 10-15% with maximum chance of conception within first four IUI cycles. A critical success factor with IUI is availability of good andrology facilities at the treating centre.