What You Should Know About Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI)

Intra-uterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment in which the sperm is placed into the uterus (woman’s womb) by a gynaecologist to facilitate fertilisation of the egg and thus improving the chances of pregnancy.

Here we address some of the common questions about IUI.

Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI) Procedure SMG Women's Health

1. How is IUI Different from IVF?

In IUI, fertilization of the egg happens inside the woman’s body i.e. sperm meets egg in the body. In this case, it is not necessary to retrieve the egg from the woman, which makes IUI a less invasive procedure than IVF (read more about the IVF process). With fertilization happening in the woman’s body, there is also no need for further processing in an IVF laboratory as well as subsequent transfer of embryos back into the woman. This makes IUI a relatively simple process with significantly lower costs.

Egg Retrieval from Woman
Sperm Collection from Man
Transfer of Sperm to Woman
Sperm Fertilising Egg In The Body In The IVF Lab
Transfer of Embryo to Woman
Anaesthesia Required
Cost $ $$$

IUI may be a suitable treatment for conditions such as erectile dysfunction, poor sperm mobility or other unexplained infertility issues. It is often an option explored by many couples who are trying to conceive, before they go on to IVF.

2. What is the IUI Procedure Like?

In IUI, the man’s semen sample is first obtained and processed to extract the sperm. The sperm is then inserted into the woman’s uterus via injection during the ovulation period. This procedure maximises the number of active sperm cells placed in the uterus, therefore increasing chances of natural conception. It may be paired with fertility medication, given to the woman, to stimulate ovulation before starting a cycle. A pregnancy test can be done in 2 weeks to determine if the treatment is successful.

Anaesthesia is not required in IUI as there is minimal pain when placing the sperms in the womb. What the woman feels is quite similar to that of undergoing a pap smear. IUI is a procedure that can be conducted in the gynaecologist’s clinic within 30 minutes approximately.

If IUI fails, some couples may repeat the process. However, if IUI repeatedly fails to result in pregnancy, IVF would be the next treatment option in line.

3. Cost of IUI Procedure

The cost of the IUI procedure is around $600-$700, excluding medication and consultation costs.

4. Who Can I Consult for IUI?

Most O&G specialists are able to perform IUI as the procedure. Again, before embarking on any fertility treatments, it is critical to perform a proper fertility assessment to understand your condition.

Mother and Child IUI Procedure SMG Women's health


Mother holding baby
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