Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the process of injecting concentrated sperm directly into the uterine cavity near the time of ovulation using a soft flexible catheter. The use of ovulation induction medications combined with IUI increases the chance of conception. IUI allows the sperm to bypass the cervix, making more sperm available to fertilize the egg(s).
There are certain clinical situations that may benefit from an IUI:
1. Abnormally thick cervical mucus
2. Small cervical opening (cervical stenosis)
3. Poor sperm motility
4. Lowered sperm concentration
5. Couples who have difficulty completing the act of intercourse (i.e. erectile dysfunction)
For most women this is a painless procedure. A small amount of cramping is normal. We recommend the couple follow up after the IUI with intercourse if possible. For lesbian couples one IUI per cycle is usually effective but they can always choose back-to-back IUIs.