What is IUI? 

IUI is the procedure of artificial insemination by which concentrated and washed semen is placed inside the uterus via a thin plastic tube known as catheter at the time of ovulation.


When is IUI done?

IUI is a fertility treatment given to couples who have been trying to conceive with no success. IUI may be selected as a fertility treatment with any of the following conditions:

  • Unexplained infertility
  • Low sperm count
  • Decreased sperm motility
  • Mild endometriosis
  • Coital problems
  • HIV/Hepatitis B infection etc
  • The requirement of donor sperm
  • A hostile cervical condition, such as cervical mucus that is too thick

In which cases IUI is ineffective?

In the following IUI treatment is ineffective

  • Both fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged
  • Ovaries have stopped functioning
  • Severe endometriosis
  • Severe problems in semen
  • Long-standing unexplained infertility

How does IUI work?  

The doctor will give fertility-enhancing medication to stimulate the formation of 1-2 eggs. Follicular monitoring is done with transvaginal ultrasound until one 16-18mm follicle is formed. 

transvaginal ultrasound
Transvaginal Ultrasound

Ovulation (release of eggs) is induced by the trigger injection, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). Thirty-six to forty hours later IUI is done. So if the trigger is given at 10.00pm on Monday, IUI will be done at 9.00am on Wednesday. Sometimes depending on your condition, the doctor may decide to do your IUI twice.

What are the steps of IUI?

  • On the day of IUI, you have to come with your husband.
  • A labeled container will be given to your husband and he is asked to collect a semen sample in a room.
  • After the collection of the sample, the technician will process the sample which takes around one and a half hrs time.
  • While waiting for the sample preparation you can drink water so that your bladder is full.
  • Under ultrasound guidance, the washed sample is placed in your uterine cavity with the help of a plastic cannula.
plastic cannula
Plastic Cannula
insemination using plastic cannula
  • The IUI procedure takes very little time (5-10minutes) and involves minimal discomfort.
  • The woman is made to lie down for ten minutes after the procedure. She can pass urine after that and continue her routine activities.

What instructions are given to the male partner before semen collection?

  • Pass urine before sample collection.
  • Collect the sample in the pre-sterilized, non-toxic labeled container given by the technician.
  • The sample should be collected by masturbation, without using a lubricant.
  • Collect the entire ejaculate directly into the sterile container. 
  • Be sure to secure the lid on tightly.

What instructions are given to female partner before IUI?

  • Drink at least 6-7 glasses of water before the procedure( drink one glass every 15 minutes)
  • Don’t pass urine for 2 hours before the procedure.
  • No need to fast.

What side effects may happen after IUI?

Generally, side effects are uncommon after IUI.

 But the following minor complications may present like-

  • Slight trauma to cervix or uterus with bleeding
  • Infection
  • Pain in the lower abdomen

What precautions are required after IUI?

After IUI you can resume your normal routine activities. There are no special precautions required after IUI regarding diet, travel or physical activity. You are advised to have intercourse with your husband. There is no need for abstinence.

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