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5 April 2023

What is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and How Does it Work?

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Complete Fertility

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), also known as Artificial Insemination (AI) is a fertility treatment that involves inserting sperm directly into a woman’s womb. It is an extremely effective form of treatment for lots of couples, helping many women fall pregnant and realise their dreams of having a baby.

If you are searching for fertility treatments in the UK, and would like to know more about IUI and what it involves - continue reading our blog below. We’ve written a helpful guide about everything you need to know when it comes to IUI. Any questions - feel free to contact us via the contact details at the bottom.

What is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)?

IUI is a common type of fertility treatment that works by placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to promote fertilisation. The objective of IUI is to increase the number of sperm reaching the fallopian tubes, and as a result, boost the chances of fertilisation.

It is the least invasive form of artificial insemination, and it comes with minimal complications. For couples who are dealing with unexplained infertility, IUI is one of the most common treatments to seek.

The treatment begins with the embryologist preparing a sample of motile sperm and placing it inside the uterus. This is done before an egg or eggs are released in a natural or stimulated cycle. Conception naturally happens in the body.

The Benefits of IUI

In terms of methods to treat infertility, IUI has a number of advantages for individuals. As we’ve mentioned above, it is less invasive and there is less stress on the body. Financially, it is less expensive compared to other fertility treatments such as IVF and ICSI.

In addition, the chances with IUI treatment is really high compared to regular sexual intercourse. The procedure only takes about 15-20 minutes, and patients need to stay in the recovery room for 20 minutes and then they’re able to leave. It does not require anesthesia and it isn’t painful either.

Risks of IUI

As with any fertility treatments, there are of course risks of the IUI procedure. There is a small risk of developing an infection as a result of the procedure. Likewise, there is a risk of spotting - placing the catheter in the uterus can result in vaginal bleeding.

Additionally, IUI can result in multiple pregnancies when used in conjunction with ovulation-inducing medications. When these are used in combination, the risk of a multiple pregnancies increases significantly. Multiple pregnancies have higher risks than single pregnancies such as early labour and low birth weight.

Who Can Have IUI?

Generally, IUI is recommended for women who have functioning fallopian tubes, preferably confirmed by saline infusion sonography. Alongside this, a man’s semen analysis needs to be normal too. IUI can be useful for women who experience cervical mucus hostility and in certain cases of unexplained infertility too.

IUI with Donor Sperm

We have a sperm bank for patients who require donor sperm. All our sperm donors are background checked with extensive screening and full medical examinations. Donors can be selected based on their physical characteristics, their employment, education and hobbies. All patients having treatment using donor sperm are required to use our counselling service, to fully explore the implications of donor insemination, before making any final decisions.

Interested in IUI?

Now that you know more about IUI, if you are interested in enquiring further about this fertility treatment, then Complete Fertility is the place to come. 

Our team of fertility specialists can support you through the entire treatment process, helping you achieve your dream of having a baby. If you would like to discuss the IUI treatment with a member of our team, please request an appointment via the online on our website, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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