How is IUI performed?

IUI involves timing when ovulation will occur, sperm preparation and sperm injection.

Timing when ovulation will occur:
In either natural cycles or cycles in which FSH injections are given to induce superovulation, ultrasound monitoring in combination with hormonal blood tests are very important for tracking follicle development in order to precisely time when ovulation will occur. For more information, see my section on The Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Tracking.

Sperm preparation:
For couples using male partner sperm, the sperm is produced fresh on the day of treatment by ejaculation. This sperm is then prepared in the lab to produce a very small and concentrated volume of the very best quality sperm. If the sperm to be used is frozen donated sperm, this will be thawed on the day of treatment and prepared in a similar way.

Sperm injection:
The IUI procedure is similar to having a Pap smear. The woman’s legs are placed in supports and a speculum is inserted into the vagina to visualise the external opening of the neck of the womb. Using aseptic techniques, the neck of the womb is gently cleaned. The prepared sperm is drawn into a fine tube using a syringe. The tip of the tube is then passed through the neck of the womb and into the upper cavity of the womb. The sperm is then gently expelled from the tube into the womb cavity using the syringe plunger. A pregnancy test is performed about two weeks later to see whether treatment was successful.