Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) brings your eggs and sperm closer together at the right time, ready for fertilisation. We can give you all the information you need to make sure it is the right choice for you.

How does it work? 

Natural conception depends on the sperm and a mature egg coming together in the right place at the right time. The right place is the top of the fallopian tube and the right time is shortly after the egg has been ovulated.

IUI stands for intrauterine insemination, the placing of prepared sperm into the uterus at the time of ovulation. This ensures that the timing is right and the sperm are close to where they need to be. It is a form of treatment that can increase your chances of conceiving. It is straightforward, painless and relatively inexpensive.

Fertility drugs may be needed to stimulate egg production and ovulation, and to prepare the uterus to receive embryos. The sperm can be from a partner or donor.

Is it right for me? 

IUI may be appropriate for you if you have functioning fallopian tubes, are under 35 years old and:

  • Have a diagnosis of ‘unexplained infertility’
  • Have mild endometriosis (a common condition in which small pieces of the uterus lining – the endometrium – are found outside the uterus, for example, in the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder)
  • Your partner has mild, male factor problems or an inability to ejaculate during intercourse
  • A single woman
  • Part of a female same-sex couple
  • You want to try a less-complex treatment before embarking on IVF treatment

What next?

You will have an initial consultation with one of our fertility specialists to agree your personalised treatment plan. You will be closely monitored by regular ultrasound scans and blood or urine tests. An injection may be needed to induce ovulation.

The sperm is carefully washed and prepared, and IUI is performed at the optimum time to achieve a pregnancy.

You’ll be able to take a pregnancy test two weeks after IUI. If this is positive, you’ll have a pregnancy scan at one of our clinics in the East of England – including Cambridge, Norwich or Wickford – about 35 days after the initial procedure.