Intrauterine insemination (IUI) involves preparing the male partners sperm in the laboratory and then placing those sperm which move well, and are normally formed in the women’s uterus. The sperm are transferred into the uterus at the time of ovulation. IUI can be performed with the sperm of the male partner or with donor sperm.
The success of intrauterine insemination depends on 2 factors
• The indication for intrauterine insemination (the reason it is being performed)
• Whether performed in a natural (drug free) cycle or in a cycle where medications are used to induce formation of eggs.
In general intrauterine insemination is a good assisted conception treatment if it is performed to overcome a problem of lack of sperm ie using donor sperm for severe male subfertility, and for single women or lesbian couples. It is also successful if intercourse is not occurring normally such as in cases of ejaculation dysfunction (ED).
Intrauterine insemination is moderately successful when used for cervical mucus hostility when sperm are killed within the cervix. Intrauterine insemination tends to be less useful if the indication is male factor subfertility ie low numbers or movement of sperm or in unexplained infertility.