Artificial Insemination (AI), otherwise known as Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), is a relatively low-intervention fertility treatment procedure, during which a sample of washed sperm from the partner or a sperm donor is inserted into a woman’s uterus directly, to improve the chances of conceiving.
Fresh or frozen sperm may be used for artificial insemination, with the latter being the norm for donor insemination.
Artificial insemination and IUI are able to bypass some of the trickier aspects of natural conception, as well as reduce the distance sperm have to swim to get to the egg (oocyte), meaning lower numbers of sperm may be required.
IUI ensures that a sample of the best quality sperm is deposited directly into the uterus at the most optimal time for conception to occur.
Your Doctor may recommend IUI for:
After ovulation induction, IUI is another low-intervention fertility treatment that can be the treatment of choice before embarking on more involved treatments, such as IVF. It is useful in cases where sexual intercourse is:
If the male partner is away, such as is often the case with FIFO, or if the male is diagnosed with cancer, requiring gonadotoxic intervention such as radiation treatment or chemotherapy. Semen samples from these patients can be frozen and stored for future use.
Single women and same-sex couples who wish to fall pregnant may choose to utilise artificial insemination or IUI using donor sperm.
The IUI process can be easily described in three straightforward steps:
The female partner undergoing insemination will generally undertake an ovulation induction cycle, which involves the administration of hormonal medication to upregulate their cycle, with regular blood tests and ultrasound monitoring to ensure an adequate response to stimulation and to identify the optimum timing for treatment in relation to ovulation.
The insemination procedure is performed only once, just prior to the time of ovulation, as determined by blood tests and ultrasound, by one of our highly trained fertility nurses or by one of our Doctors. Following the insemination, you can resume your normal daily activities.
In the weeks after your insemination, your hormone levels will be monitored and supported, if necessary, until the outcome of your cycle is known.