Things You Must Know About Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

May 2, 2024
Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
In vitro fertilization (IVF)

Intrauterine Insemination, or IUI is a less invasive fertility treatment where healthy sperm is inserted through the cervix inside the uterus for fertilization during ovulation. It is a simple fertility procedure for couples who cannot conceive naturally. This procedure is also called artificial insemination. Owing to its high success rate, IUI treatment is becoming a common fertility treatment procedure. Here are the things you must know about IUI.  

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Why Go For IUI?

Now that you are clear about what is IUI, you must also know when you must go for IUI treatment.  

Fertility Issues in Women: Women who suffer from fertility problems can very well opt for IUI. In this case, IUI is an artificial insemination procedure that comes to help where the sperm is directly placed inside the uterus. Women suffering from semen allergies can conceive with IUI, as the selected sperm is usually washed before the procedure.  

Male Infertility: Men with erectile dysfunction, low sperm quality, ejaculation issues, and other sperm impairments can opt for IUI. High-quality sperm or sperm from a donor is used during the IUI procedure.  

Unexplained Infertility: It is a condition where it is almost impossible to find the actual cause of infertility. Couples who face unexplained infertility can undergo intrauterine insemination for a successful conception.  

How Does It Work?

Before you undergo the procedure, you must be clear on how is IUI done? The procedure helps to increase the chance of the sperm meeting the egg. The actual time taken for the sperm to reach the egg is drastically reduced, which increases the chance of fertilization.  

The quality of the egg can be improved with medications, which increases the success rate of the IUI procedure. Sperm from your partner or donor are carefully selected based on their quality and washed. This makes it easy for the sperm to reach the egg. You get pregnant when the egg and the injected sperm get fertilized and implanted in the uterus lining. IUI is a low-risk procedure that improves the chance of getting pregnant. But there is no guarantee that this procedure will work for all, as each body is different.  

What Can You Expect During the IUI Procedure?

Before you go for an IUI, your doctor would recommend various tests, including blood tests, semen analysis, ultrasounds, etc. You may be injected with medicines to stimulate your ovulation or release multiple eggs a few days before ovulation, based on the follicular study.  

During the IUI procedure, you would be asked to lie down and a thin tube would be inserted through your cervix to reach your uterus. Then the sperm sample is injected, with the help of a syringe, into the tube and then inside the uterus. There is no need for anesthesia during this procedure. It takes about four weeks to complete the entire process of IUI. However, it takes only a few minutes to insert the semen into the uterus. It is a painless procedure, but you can expect light spotting and mild cramping for a few days after the procedure.  

What Are the Risks Involved in IUI?

IUI is a low-risk procedure but in some cases, there are risks associated with IUI.  

  • There are chances for multiple births when you take medications for the release of multiple eggs. This can also lead to premature delivery.
  • Your ovaries may swell due to ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which is due to the intake of ovulation stimulating medicines.  
  • There is also a rare chance of vaginal bleeding after the IUI procedure.  
  • Anxiety and depression are common for couples who undergo IUI. Both partners are anxious about the result of the IUI. This affects their physical and mental health.  

Results Of IUI

You have to wait for at least two weeks to know the result of the IUI procedure. You can go for a pregnancy test at home or a blood test to detect the hcg levels. These tests can help you tell if you are pregnant as a result of the IUI procedure. There are higher chances of success with IUI when you are provided with ovulation-stimulating medicines. Repeat the IUI procedure for up to three to six cycles to increase their chances of conception.  


Intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF) are the two common alternative fertility procedures. However, the actual process of both procedures is completely different. IUI is a less invasive and less expensive procedure when compared to IUI. In IUI, the sperm is injected inside the uterus and fertilization takes place inside the uterus. But in IVF, both the egg and sperm are collected and fertilised in a controlled environment. The success rate of IVF is quite high compared to IUI. IUI is an excellent fertility treatment for issues like, unexplained fertility, sperm issues, etc., whereas IVF is preferred by couples with blocked fallopian tubes & poor egg quality.  

Also Read : IVF vs ICSI Fertility Treatment

Cost of IUI

IUI is less expensive compared to other artificial fertility treatments. It is a low-tech procedure and thus it costs less. The actual cost of IUI varies based on the place and facility where you undergo the procedure. The cost may increase when you are provided with medicines for improving egg quality or releasing multiple eggs. The cost of a single IUI cycle may range from Rs. 10000 to Rs. 50000.  

Now you will be aware of the things you must know about IUI fertility treatment. You can very well go ahead with the procedure with the hope of a successful pregnancy.  


1. What is the IUI process?

IUI is an artificial fertility treatment procedure where a healthy semen sample is injected inside the uterus. The procedure makes it easy for the sperm to meet the egg, thereby increasing the chance of getting pregnant.

2. What is required for IUI?

The release of a single or multiple healthy eggs and a high-quality semen sample are required to undergo an IUI procedure. In certain situations, there is a need for ovulation-stimulating medicines to improve the quality of eggs.

3. Can I be pregnant with IUI?

Yes, it is possible to be pregnant with IUI. The success rate ranges from 10% to 30%.

4. Is the IUI procedure painful?

IUI is a painless procedure but in some cases, you might experience mild cramping.