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IUI Procedure

14 October 2009

Intrauterine insemination has a higher success rate than intravaginal insemination or intra-cervical insemination as it places the good motile sperm near the Fallopian tubes where there will be one or more eggs available for insemination.

IUIs can be performed either with the partner’s sperm or with donor sperm. It is recommended that the patient abstain from sexual intercourse for two to three days before the procedure. The male partner is asked to produce a semen sample by masturbation, one to two hours before the procedure is to be performed or a prior collected frozen semen sample is thawed. Only washed and prepared sperm are used for intrauterine insemination because untreated semen may cause severe uterine contractions, pain, cramps and may even faint or collapse.

This insemination procedure is simple and takes about 5-10 minutes, usually being painless. It involves insertion of a speculum into the vagina to visualize the cervix. The cervix is then cleaned with a little culture medium. The prepared sperm is then injected into the cavity of the womb using a fine plastic catheter. After insemination, the patient may be asked to rest for a short period of time, approx 10 mins. There are no restrictions thereafter.

Indications for IUI:

1. Cervical hostility: when the mucus in the mouth of the uterus is not permeable to the sperm confirmed by the post coital test. IUI can be performed in a spontaneous ovulatory cycle.

2. In a cycle where drugs are being used for ovarian stimulation for unexplained infertility and male subfertility. Every clinic has different cut off values for sperm count after preparation, which they will use to perform an IUI.

3. Inability for vaginal ejaculation as in men with retrograde ejaculation or spinal cord injury

4. Donor Sperm insemination