Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the placing of sperm into a woman’s uterus when she is ovulating. This procedure is used for couples with unexplained infertility, minimal male factor infertility, and women with cervical mucus problems. IUI is often done in conjunction with ovulation-stimulating drugs. IUI can be performed using the husband’s sperm or donor sperm. Before IUI, the woman should be evaluated for any hormonal imbalance, infection or any structural problems.
On the day of the IUI, sperm from the male partner or third-party donor is “washed” or separated and prepped for the procedure. The doctor uses a soft catheter that is passed through a speculum directly into the woman’s uterus to deposit the sample.
Insemination is performed at the time of ovulation, usually within 12-36 hours the “trigger” injection of Ovidrel is administered. IUI is a relatively quick procedure and is performed in the clinic without any anesthesia. It should not be painful, although some women report mild discomfort.