Intrauterine Insemination (also called IUI and sperm washes) involves placing specially treated or “washed” sperm directly into a woman’s uterus.  This treatment is helpful for both male and female infertility. Since the sperm is placed beyond the cervix, the sperm avoids the cervical mucus. It is recommended in patients with

  • ovulatory dysfunction (pco)
  • mild male factor infertility
  • coital issues (ejaculatory dysfunction)
  • mild endometriosis
  • unexplained infertility
  • cervical factor
  • HIV / HBsAg discordant couple
  • requirement of donor sperm.

The woman’s partner may produce their sperm sample in the comfort of their own home, as long as the sample is given to the laboratory within 60 minutes, or they can provide it in one of our private collection rooms.

This procedure can be done in a natural cycle in which the patient does not use any medications, or in combination with oral or injected medications.  The patient will undergo cycle monitoring (blood work and ultrasound on certain key days during her cycle) and when she is showing signs of ovulation, she will be informed of the best time for the insemination to be done. In some cases, the physician will “trigger” ovulation with a medication called HCG in order to ensure the proper timing.

Two inseminations are performed, on two consecutive days, ideally one before and one after ovulation. This procedure is not painful and takes only a few minutes to perform. Afterwards, the patient is asked to lie down for 10 minutes and she can resume normal activity right away. Fourteen days later she can return to the clinic for a pregnancy test.

Donor sperm can also be used for males with no sperm, or in the case of single women or same sex couples. The intrauterine insemination of donor sperm is similar to the aforementioned procedure, except that it uses an anonymous donor’s sperm.

Please be aware that the cycle success rate in insemination is between 15%-20%. We rarely recommend more than three cycles because most pregnancies using this technique occur in the first cycle. If fertilisation does not take place, an appointment is arranged so that the patients can be advised by our Reproductive Medicine Committee. Our medical team meets to evaluate the clinical case and inform the couple of their options.