What is IUI? When it should be done?

April 9, 2020

what is iui

Author Name: Dr. Shweta Jain Mentor Name: Dr. Pratibha Singh on April 09, 2020

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a type of artificial insemination- a procedure used for treating infertility in which washed sperms are directly injected inside the uterus to facilitate fertilization. If donor sperm is used it is called as donor insemination.

IUI is done in following conditions:
1. Male infertility- patients with less of sperm count , but good motility and good no of normal morphology sperms
In patients with erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction.
In patients with zero sperm count, donor sperm can be used.
2. In young females with ovulatory problems such as in PCOD, thyroid disorders, irregular periods etc
3. Cervical factors- in patients with thick cervical mucus or cervical stenosis
4. Mild endometriosis
5. Unexplained infertility

IUI is not effective in following conditions:
1. In patients with tubal dysfunction or block
2. Patients in whom both fallopian tubes are removed
3. Pelvic inflammatory disease
4. Moderate to severe endometriosis

Success rate- it is around 12 to 15%, It depends on female age, cause of infertility and whether fertility medications were used or not.


IUI can be done in natural cycle or after giving medications. In both the cycles ovulation is closely monitored by LH kit or by serial transvaginal ultrasound. IUI is performed 24-36 hours after LH surge , at the time of ovulation. On the day of the procedure the semen sample is washed to separate highly active and motile sperms from low quality sperms and seminal fluid. These washed sperms are loaded in catheter and pushed directly inside the uterus. This increases the number of sperms reaching fallopian tube hence increases the chances of fertilization.


1. IUI is painless procedure
2. Less expensive as compared to IVF
3. Less invasive than IVF
4. Minimal or no discomfort
5. Results in normal pregnancy hence reduces the chances of complications post conception as compared to IVF.


1. Pregnancy rates are lower than IVF
2. It can be done only in selected patients.

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