What is Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) ?

In natural conception, sperm travel through the vagina, cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes. During IUI, sperm are washed and concentrated, and then placed directly into the uterus, where they are closer to the eggs.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment where sperm are placed directly into a woman’s uterus.

In natural conception, sperm travel through the vagina, cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes. During IUI, sperm are washed and concentrated, and then placed directly into the uterus, where they are closer to the eggs.

In certain couples who haven’t been able to conceive, this process can increase their chances of conceiving.

How does IUI work?

The term IUI refers to intrauterine insemination. It’s also known as alternative insemination or artificial insemination. In IUI, sperm cells are placed directly into the uterus around the time you’re ovulating, helping the sperm reach the egg. As a result, sperm travels less time and distance, resulting in a faster fertilization process.

The insemination procedure may be preceded by the use of fertility medicines that stimulate ovulation. The semen is collected from your partner or from a donor. Semen is processed through a process called “sperm washing,” which concentrates healthy sperm.

The sperm is then placed directly into your uterus by your doctor. Fertilization by sperm and implanting of fertilized eggs in your uterus results in pregnancy.

It is a simple, low-tech procedure that can be less expensive than other methods of fertility treatment. IUI increases your chances of getting pregnant, but every woman’s body is different, so there’s no guarantee.

When should IUI be used?

There are many factors that affect a couple’s ability to become pregnant. In most cases, intrauterine insemination is performed on couples who have:
  • Sperm from the donor. IUI is the most common procedure used to achieve pregnancy for women who need to use donor sperm in order to get pregnant. Donor sperm specimens are obtained from certified labs and are thawed before the procedure of intrauterine insemination is performed.
  • Infertility that is unexplained. The IUI procedure, combined with ovulation-inducing medications is often recommended as the first treatment for unexplained infertility.
  • Infertility as a result of endometriosis. When it comes to infertility caused by endometriosis, it is often recommended to try medications to obtain a good-quality egg along with performing IUI as the first treatment method.
  • Infertility due to a mild male factor (subfertility). As part of your partner’s medical assessment of infertility, you may find out that the sperm concentration and motility of your partner’s sperm are below average, or that there are abnormalities in the size and shape (morphology) of the sperm. The advantages of IUI are that some of these problems can be overcome because the procedure helps separate highly motile, normal sperm from those of lower quality by preparing the sperm for the procedure.
  • Infertility caused by the cervical factor. A cervix is the opening between your vagina and uterus, which is located at the lower end of the uterus. Around the time of ovulation, your cervix produces mucus that provides an ideal environment for the sperm to travel from your vagina to the fallopian tubes via the fallopian tubes. In some cases, however, it may be difficult for the sperm to migrate through your cervical mucus if it is too thick. Also, it is possible that the cervix itself may prevent the sperm from reaching the egg in some cases. It is possible for the cervix to thicken as a result of scarring that is caused by a biopsy or other medical procedures. The process of IUI bypasses the cervix and deposits sperm directly into your uterus, increasing the number of sperm available to meet your awaiting egg by directly depositing sperm into your uterus.
  • Infertility due to ovulatory factor. A woman can also undergo IUI if she is unable to conceive as a result of ovulation issues, such as non-ovulation or a reduced number of eggs, which may lead to infertility.
  • An allergy to semen. There is a possibility that an allergy to proteins in sperm may lead to infertility in some cases. When the semen is ejected into the vagina it causes redness, burning, and swelling where it comes into contact with the skin. It is true that a condom can protect you from the symptoms, but it can also prevent pregnancy. As long as your sensitivity is severe, IUI could be a good option for you, since many of the proteins in semen are removed before the sperm is released.

What Is The IUI Procedure?

You may take fertility medicines before IUI to make your eggs mature and fertile. During ovulation (when your ovaries release an egg), the doctor from Shukan IVF Center will perform the insemination procedure. In some cases, hormones are given to trigger ovulation. In order to maximize your chances of getting pregnant, they’ll determine when you’re ovulating and ready for the procedure.
A sample of semen is collected at home or at the doctor’s office by your partner or donor. Sperm are prepared for insemination by a process called “sperm washing,” which concentrates healthy sperm for insemination. Semen washing also helps remove chemicals from the semen that can cause reactions in the uterus and make pregnancy more difficult. Generally, when you use donor sperm from a sperm bank, the bank sends the doctor’s office sperm that’s already been “washed” and is ready for IUI.
In the IUI procedure, a thin, flexible tube is inserted into your uterus through your cervix. A small syringe is used to inject the sperm into your uterus through the tube. Pregnancy occurs when sperm fertilizes an egg, and the fertilized egg implants into the uterine lining.

Insemination is performed at Shukan IVF Center, and it typically takes about 5-10 minutes. It’s quite quick, and anesthesia isn’t required. There is usually no pain associated with IUI, but some people experience mild cramping.

What are the risks?

The procedure of intrauterine insemination is relatively simple and safe, and complications are rare. Among the risks are
  • An infection. During the procedure, there is a slight risk of infection.
  • The spotting. Occasionally, vaginal bleeding occurs while the catheter is being placed in the uterus. Pregnancy chances aren’t usually affected by this.
  • Multiple pregnancies. Multiple pregnancies aren’t associated with IUI itself – twins, triplets, etc. The risk of multiple pregnancies increases significantly when coordinated with ovulation-inducing medications. It is more likely that multiple pregnancies will result in early labor and a low birth weight than a single pregnancy.

What’s the success rate of IUI?

A couple’s response to IUI can vary from couple to couple, making it difficult to predict its success. There are a number of factors that influence the outcome, including
    • Age
    • Diagnosis of underlying infertility
    • The use of fertility drugs
    • Other fertility concerns

Pregnancy rates following IUI are varied based on your reasons for needing fertility treatment. Women over the age of 40 and those who have not gotten pregnant after three cycles of IUI have lower success rates for IUI. A fertility specialist can help you determine whether this is a good option for you based on your predicted success rate.

What Is the Cost of IUI in India?

Among fertility treatments, IUI is the least invasive and most time-effective. A relatively painless procedure, it may not require any additional medication or hormones depending on the participants’ health.

IUI costs in India are generally determined by the complexity of the procedure and the requirements of the fertile couple. You can call and consult our fertility experts at Shukan Hospital for more information about the IUI treatment, IUI process, and IUI cost.
Remember that you may need more than one IUI attempt to achieve a successful pregnancy. Compared to other countries, India offers the most affordable IUI treatment.


  1. What are the differences between IUI and IVF?

    IUI involves fertilization inside the uterus, whereas IVF involves fertilization outside the uterus in a lab. The process of IVF involves taking fertility medication to stimulate the ovaries, followed by a minor surgical procedure to retrieve the mature eggs. Fertilization is performed in the lab with prepared sperm. After the embryos have been created, they can be transferred to the uterus or frozen for later use. Compared to IVF, IUI typically costs less and takes less time.


    It is possible that IUI is uncomfortable, but the procedure is relatively pain-free and does not require anesthesia. There may be some cramping, which can feel similar to having a Pap smear. There may also be some spotting afterward due to irritation of the delicate cervix lining. After a few days, this should go away. Following the procedure, you can resume your normal activities, but you will want to avoid strenuous exercise.


    It will take between nine and fourteen days after your procedure to have your pregnancy tested (via blood draw).

  4. What Is Sperm Wash?

    Sperm washing is the first step in preparing sperm samples for IUI. The process of sperm washing separates sperm cells from semen and removes dead sperms, weak sperms, white blood cells, germs, debris, and prostaglandins. Your sperm sample now contains only the strongest sperm, which increases your chances of conception.

  5. Does IUI require a specific sperm count?

    The minimum sperm count for IUI is 5-10 million. Fertilization chances increase with a higher sperm count.

  6. Is anesthesia used during IUI treatment?

    Not at all. IUI does not require anesthesia.

  7. How Long Is The IUI Process?

    The IUI procedure usually takes 15-20 minutes. A short time after the treatment, the patient is discharged from the hospital.

  8. Before moving on to IVF, how many IUIs should I try?

    The recommended number of IUI cycles is three to six if you are younger than 35 years old. It is recommended for women over 35 to undergo three IUI cycles before opting for IVF. It may, however, vary based on your medical history and infertility symptoms.

  9. Can I Have Sex Before IUI?

    Having sex before the sperm collection is acceptable, but 2-3 days prior to the collection is recommended so that the motility and morphology of the sperm are optimal.

  10. Before I undergo IUI treatment, do I need to prepare my body?

    Yes. Top fertility doctors swear by holistic management for boosting fertility health naturally, which leads to faster conception. Yoga, diet, acupressure, Ayurveda, and counseling have all been proven to assist women in conceiving naturally or through IUI/IVF.

  11. Can I have sexual relations after an IUI?

    After undergoing an IUI, you are usually able to have intercourse at any time. If you experienced bleeding during IUI, your doctor may recommend waiting 48 hours.

  12. After IUI, do I need to take bedrest?

    No. There is no need to take bed rest. Rest for a while if you feel cramps or need to relax. Later, you can continue your routine.

  13. Does Sperm Fall Out?

    After the procedure, you may feel as if the sperm is falling out due to the increased moistness. It occurs because the catheter loosens mucus in the cervix and allows it to flow. You don’t have to worry! Sperm does not fall out once it is injected into the uterus.

  14. Can I undergo IUI treatment if I have PCOS?

    Yes, of course. After treating your PCOS, you can do IUI if you do not have any other medical conditions.

  15. Is it possible to do IUI at home?

    IUI kits are available these days, but IUI is a medical procedure that requires professional monitoring by a doctor. Performing at home without guidance can lead to complications later on. You may be able to accomplish this on your own, but there is no guarantee of success in such a situation.

  16. After a failed IUI, how can you remain positive?

    Taking good care of yourself, journaling your emotions, talking to friends and family, treating your health, and seeking medical assistance can all help.

More questions about  IUI?