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Artificial Insemination

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) or artificial insemination (AI) refers to the injection of sperm into the uterine cavity through the cervix and above the cervical level at or around the time of ovulation to improve pregnancy chances.

Artificial insemination is useful in cases of unexplained infertility, male factor infertility, ejaculation problems and for single women desiring pregnancy.

It is used as an initial treatment before moving on to more complex fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

IUI may be an excellent first step in getting pregnant with the help of the team at Footsteps To Fertility Centre. We will be there for you every step of the way to thoroughly explain the details of your customized treatment plan.

Feel free to contact us, chat with us or directly reserve an appointment below. We will happily answer any further questions that you have about IUI and whether it is right for you in person.

What is involved in artificial insemination?

This procedure can be performed during a natural cycle or with additional hormonal stimulation (ovulation induction). Our fertility specialist will discuss the decision for the best technique with you and your partner.

The woman’s cycle is monitored to determine the day of ovulation – often referred to as ‘cycle tracking’. Once the follicle is mature, ovulation is triggered by an injection of synthetic human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

The prepared sperm is inserted directly into the uterine cavity using a very thin catheter. This process is similar to a pap smear with regard to discomfort.

Progesterone supplementation is generally started following IUI and continued until the end of the first three months or a negative pregnancy test in two weeks.

Donor sperm treatment may involve artificial insemination (Intrauterine insemination). It may be recommended for the most serious abnormalities of sperm production or where there is a high risk of passing on a genetic disease. Artificial insemination using donor sperm is also an option for single women.

When is IUI recommended?

IUI is often recommended for women or couples who:
  • Have ovulation problems and are undergoing ovulation induction, especially when timed intercourse has not succeeded
  • Are unable to have appropriately timed intercourse due to travel problems or in cases of sexual dysfunction
  • Have mild male factor infertility
  • Have unexplained infertility
  • Have been unsuccessful with infertility medication alone or with other treatments
  • Have mild endometriosis

How many artificial insemination cycles might be recommended?

Natural fertility results in pregnancy just 25% of the time in any given month.

The possibility of conception using IUI is highest in the first three to four months. If not pregnant after 3-4 artificial insemination attempts, we will usually recommend more aggressive treatment, such as having patients move from oral to injectable fertility medications, or move to IVF.

The decision as to how many IUI cycles a patient pursues will be based on factors including their age, their particular diagnosis and their assessment of the other therapies that may be available.

Potential risks associated with IUI

  • Infection – This may be more common among women with a history of pelvic infection.
  • Overstimulation – Some women may experience an excessive response by their ovaries to the fertility drugs.
  • Multiple pregnancy – If there are too many follicles seen on ultrasound before the IUI is carried out, the risk of multiple pregnancy may be too high and the procedure may be cancelled.
  • Failed procedure – In a small number of cases, it is not possible to place the catheter into position through the cervix, and the sperm cannot be inserted into the uterine cavity.

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